(Reuters) – Red and white debris spotted off the coast of Indonesia’s part of Borneo island is likely to be part an AirAsia plane carrying 162 people which is presumed to have crashed two days ago, an Indonesian transport official said on Tuesday.
Media quoted an air force official as saying a suspected body, luggage and a life vest were among the debris.
“As we approached, the body seemed bloated,” said First Lieutenant Tri Wibowo, who was on board a Hercules during the search operation, was quoted by the Kompas.com website as saying.
The sighting of the body was not confirmed.
Indonesia AirAsia’s Flight QZ8501, an Airbus A320-200, had sought permission from Indonesian air traffic control to ascend to avoid clouds just before it went missing early on Sunday on a flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.
“The debris is red and white,” Djoko Murjatmodjo, acting director general of air transportation at the transportation ministry, told reporters. “We are checking if it’s debris from the aircraft. It’s probably from the body of the aircraft.”
Based on the size and coloring of the debris, it was likely to be part of the missing jet, Murjatmodjo added.
AirAsia planes are painted red and white.
There have been no confirmed sightings of any wreckage of the missing plane. Most of those on board were Indonesian.