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As weeping relatives of those aboard a missing AirAsia flight gathered Sunday in Indonesia to anxiously await news of their loved ones, friends and officials called for prayers on social media.
The plane carrying 162 went missing on Sunday en route from Indonesia to Singapore after the pilot asked to change course due to weather. AirAsia said most on board were Indonesian and that there were six foreigners — three South Koreans and one each from Singapore, France and Malaysia.
Nearly 50 family members of passengers had registered at Singapore Changi Airport, where the missing plane was supposed to arrive at 8:30 a.m. Sunday local time (7:30 p.m. ET Saturday), according to a statement from the airport.
An emergency briefing room for family members was set up at the airport, AirAsia said in a statement, and local housing was provided.
"We've been given accommodation from AirAsia but I couldn't rest with this on my mind," said one man who told The Associated Press he has four relatives on board, who gave his name as Haryanto.
Some family members chose to stay optimistic. Dimas, who goes by one name like many Indonesians, said he was hoping that the plane, which his wife, 30-year-old Ratri Sri Andriani is on, had made an emergency landing. "We can just pray and hope that all those aboard are safe," Dimas said. "We are worried, of course, but we have to surrender to her fate."
Adi Kwok told NBC News that his older brother Eko Wijaya, his sister-in-law and the couple's three children were on the flight. Kwok said his brother and brother's had traveled to Surabaya Sunday morning to catch their flight to Singapore for a short vacation. "I am devastated," he told NBC News in an email. "I can't ask for a better brother. We love each other deeply."
Amid the messages pouring out on Twitter urging prayers for those missing, it appeared there was one unexpected stroke of luck. A Twitter user said her brother was meant to be on the plane — his name appeared on the log — but he and his family had missed their flight.
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