The search for a missing airliner with 162 people aboard will expand Tuesday, the Indonesian government announced.
Four additional areas will be searched, the national search and rescue agency said.
Seven zones were patrolled Monday, the second day of searching for AirAsia Flight QZ8501. So far, the search has been fruitless.
“Our early conjecture is that the plane is in the bottom of the sea,” said Bambang Sulistyo, the head of the search and rescue agency. That belief is based on the plane’s flight track and last known coordinates.
France dispatched two investigators to Indonesia. They are due to arrive in Jakarta on Monday, France’s Foreign Ministry said.
The missing plane is made by Airbus, a French company.
Rescuers say weather was probably a factor in the plane’s disappearance.
China will dispatch aircraft and ships to participate in search and rescue efforts, the Chinese Ministry of National Defense said Tuesday.
A Chinese navy frigate previously patrolling in the South China Sea is en route to the waters near where the plane lost contact, the ministry said on its website. The Chinese air force is also assisting with planning, the ministry said.
A C-130 plane from Singapore has been participating in the search, and the country’s military says it’s sending two more ships to the search area. Malaysia’s transportation minister said his country has deployed three vessels and three aircraft to assist in the search. And the Royal Australian Air Force said Monday that it was deploying a patrol plane to help.
The U.S. Navy Seventh Fleet said it stands ready to assist the search efforts but so far hasn’t been asked to help.
Indonesia has reached out to the United Kingdom, France and the United States for help with sonar technology that may be needed for an underwater search, Sulistyo said Monday.
Large waves and clouds hampered the search for the plane Sunday and Monday. But Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla told reporters his country will not give up or set a time limit for the operation.
A possible oil slick within the search zone has been discounted as not being from an airplane, Indonesian authorities told CNN. Likewise, reports of a very faint flight recorder “ping” are false, Indonesian local media reported.
There were reports of objects found in the search zone, but given that the area has a great deal of traffic along the water, authorities have said objects found won’t automatically indicate a sign of the plane.
Kalla told CNN there were “some reports from Australia” about possible objects found, but it was unclear whether they were from the plane.