At the conclusion of his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis prayed for the victims of AirAsia Flight QZ 8501 which went missing on its way from Indonesia to Singapore. “My thoughts turn in this moment, to the passengers of the Malaysian airplane that went missing during its flight from Indonesia to Singapore,” he said.
Indonesian air traffic controllers lost all communication as it flew over the Java Sea. Local officials stated that prior to going missing, a pilot aboard the flight asked air traffic controllers permission to deviate from its planned route due to bad weather.
This is the second Southeast Asian flight to go missing this year, after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing in March 2014.
Ferry Boat Tragedy
Pope Francis, also remembered those involved in a tragic ferry boat accident in the Adriatic Sea. According to CNN, a joint rescue operation between Italy and Greece is underway to save hundreds of passengers on the Norman Atlantic Italian ferry.
The boat departed Greece on Sunday morning and was making its way towards Ancona, Italy. Greek officials reported that the ferry was on fire. While rescue workers have saved 150 of the 400 passengers aboard so far, rough winds are making continuing rescue efforts difficult.
The Holy Father prayed for the victims, their families and those assisting in the rescue operations for both tragedies.
“I am close to them with the affections and prayers for the families and those who are living through these difficult situations with anxiety and suffering, as well as those involved in rescue operations,” the Pope said.