WASHINGTON – Indonesia has asked the United States for help in locating the AirAsia jet that went missing on Sunday carrying 162 people, the U.S. State Department said Monday.
“Today we received a request for assistance locating the airplane, and we are reviewing that request to find out how best we can meet Indonesia’s request for assistance,” State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke told a regular news briefing.
Rathke said the Indonesian request was made via a diplomatic note to the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta. He declined to give details of the request.
“Our embassy, of course, is focused on finding … ways to be responsive. Of course, we’ve been in close contact with Indonesian officials since the disappearance of the plane,” Rathke added.
The Indonesia AirAsia plane, an Airbus A320-200, disappeared after its pilot failed to get permission to fly higher to avoid bad weather during a flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore on Sunday.
The head of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency earlier on Monday said the missing jet could be at the bottom of the sea after it was presumed to have crashed off the Indonesian coast.