Missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501: Officials investigating possible debris

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This graphic depicts the intended flight path of AirAsia Flight QZ8501, an Airbus A320 flying from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore, on Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014. Communication between the air traffic controllers, AirAsia, and the aircraft was lost in the early morning hours.

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(CNN) — Indonesian authorities are investigating a patch of debris that could be from missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501, a government official said Tuesday.

The debris spotted by a search team is located off the coast of Indonesia’s Central Kalimantan province, Djoko Murjatmodjo, an aviation official at the Transport Ministry, told reporters.

Helicopter teams are preparing to go and examine the location as soon as weather permits, Djoko said.

Photos, which officials are examining, showed at least one triangular metallic object floating in the water.

Ships, planes and helicopters have been searching for Flight QZ8501 since it went missing over the Java Sea on Sunday on its way from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

Officials have said they are concerned about currents in the sea. If bad weather persists, currents could spread debris before crews get to it.

The Airbus A320-200 with 162 people on board lost contact with air traffic control early Sunday shortly after the pilot requested permission to turn and climb to a higher altitude because of bad weather, according to Indonesian officials.

Indonesian authorities, which are leading the search and rescues efforts, had already been investigating other possible leads in the hunt for the missing plane, including smoke spotted rising from an island in the Java Sea and other floating objects.

Because there is a great deal of traffic along the water in the search area, authorities have cautioned that objects found might have nothing to do with the missing aircraft.

Rescuers say weather was probably a factor in the plane’s disappearance, and it has made finding traces of the plane more difficult. Large waves and clouds have hampered search efforts.

CNN’s Andrew Stevens, Brian Walker and translator Azieza Navy contributed to this report.

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