Rescuers scoured the ocean for a missing jetliner yesterday, one day after senior Indonesian officials erroneously said the Boeing 737's charred wreckage had been found in a remote mountainous area and that a dozen people survived.
Three navy ships set sail soon after sunrise in the Makkasar Strait and five air force planes took to the skies, searching for signs of the Adam Air plane, said Bambang Karnoyudho, the head of the National Search and Rescue Agency.
But as nightfall approached, nothing had been found, officials said, preparing to continue with a land and sea search early today.
"God willing, we can find it soon," Karnoyudho said.
The Adam Air plane carrying 102 people was flying from Indonesia's main island of Java to North Sulawesi's provincial capital of Manado when it disappeared on Monday in stormy weather after sending out distress signals -- one over mountainous jungles and the other along the coast.
Rescue teams spent more than 10 hours on Tuesday hiking through slippery forest paths in a mountainous region of Sulawesi's western coast but found nothing, prompting authorities to expand their search yesterday.
Karnoyudho said based on radar and satellite readings he thought it most likely that the Adam Air plane had fallen into the sea.
Air Force Squadron Commander Lieutenant Colonel Mudjianto, whose team followed the plane's scheduled flight path to the site where its last distress signal was picked up, said visibility was good yesterday as his team searched a roughly 777km2 triangle of sea and land.
"We flew over the area four times ... but there was no sign of the plane," Mudjianto said.
Relatives of the passengers -- some camped out at the Adam Air counter at the Manado airport -- were losing patience after being misinformed one day earlier about the fate of the plane.
Indonesian aviation, military and police officials -- and the airline itself -- had said the plane had been found in a remote part of Sulawesi. They said that 90 people on board had perished, but that the remaining 12 may have survived.
Descriptions were vivid, with officials saying corpses and debris from the plane were scattered over a 300m area of forest and jagged cliffs -- highlighting the often unreliable and chaotic nature of disaster relief efforts in the world's largest archipelagic nation.
Aviation experts say search operations could take time.
"In an area of low population density, particularly if it is in inhospitable terrain -- such as jungle, or a deep ravine or covered by a canopy -- it could sit for a long time without being found," said Laurence Benn, head of the Center for Civil Aviation in London.
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
UPTICK IN NUMBERS: The Taipei deputy mayor said the city has services to assist new immigrants, but has established an office specifically to help those from Hong Kong The Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office today officially opens, where it is to provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers, after Beijing yesterday passed a controversial national security law for the territory. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed dismay over China’s passage of the law, saying that Beijing has broken its pledge to allow Hong Kong to maintain a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years following its handover from the UK. “I feel extremely disappointed [about the law’s passage], which means China did not keep its promise to Hong Kong,” Tsai said in Taipei. Beijing’s “broken promise” also
‘SIGNAL TO ALLIES’: The US Navy’s exercises are not in response to those carried out by China, the commander of the strike group led by the USS ‘Ronald Reagan’ said Two US aircraft carriers were yesterday conducting exercises in the disputed South China Sea, the US Navy said as China also carried out military drills that have been criticized by the US Department of Defense and neighboring states. China and the US have accused each other of stoking tension in the waterway at a time of strained relations over everything from COVID-19 to trade to Hong Kong. The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan were carrying out operations and exercises in the South China Sea “to support a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the navy said in a statement. It did not say exactly