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U.S. set to join in the hunt for missing AirAsia airliner

Early Monday, Indonesian government officials expanded the search for a missing jetliner with 162 passengers onboard. Indonesia has officially requested America’s help in searching for the missing AirAsia flight, which disappeared on the way to Singapore, Sunday. The State department received a request Monday to help locate the plane– carrying 162 people– and passed it onto the Defense Department. The U.S. Defense Department is now reviewing steps in how to join global efforts to determine what happened to the missing flight.

The United States had already expressed willingness to help if asked, with the Navy 7th Fleet standing ready to contribute to search efforts. Indonesia is requesting help from the United Kingdom, France and the United States for sonar devices, which will be needed for a possible underwater search. France has dispatched two investigators to Indonesia. They are due to arrive in Jakarta on Monday. The missing plane is made by Airbus, a French company. China is also assisting the Indonesian government by dispatching aircraft and ships to participate in the search and rescue efforts.

A C-130 plane from Singapore has been participating in the search, and the country’s military said it’s sending two more ships to the search area. Malaysian government officials say they have launched three vessels and aircraft to aid in the search; the Australian Air Force said they were deploying a patrol plane to help.


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