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Fisherman crucial in finding AirAsia QZ8501 wreckage

A 44-year-old fisherman has been hailed by Indonesian media as being instrumental in the search for the AirAsia plane that went missing on Sunday, reported The Star Online.

The man, identified only as Rahmat, had stopped his boat at Senggora Island, south of the town of Pangkalan Bun in Central Kalimantan, on Sunday as it had been raining continuously since dawn, Indonesian news portal Detik.com reported on Wednesday.

Air traffic controllers had lost contact with flight QZ8501 only shortly before that.

"Around 7am, I heard a loud booming sound. Soon afterwards, there was haze that usually happened only during the dry season," Mr Rahmat said.

He said it crossed his mind that a plane had crashed, but two of his friends, also fishermen, dismissed the thought.

"Before the booming sound, my friends saw a plane from above Senggaro Island heading towards the sea. The plane was said to be flying relatively low but then disappeared," said the father-of-three.

As the rain eased, Mr Rahmat went out to sea but could not catch any fish amid waves as high as two metres.

"The next day (Monday), I returned home. After watching news on the missing plane, I reported to the village head," said Mr Rahmat, who lives in Kubu village in central Kalimantan.

Based on his testimony, the search and rescue team combed the area labelled as Sector V and found pieces of wreckage from AirAsia flight QZ8501 and bodies of the victims, reported Detik.com.

Sources: The Star Online, Detik.com

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