Indonesian authorities have expanded the search for an Adam Air Boeing 737-400 that went missing on New Year’s day with 102 people on board while en route from Surabaya to Manado in northern Sulawesi.

“We are not in a position of [crash] investigation yet because” the aircraft has yet to be found, says Frans Wenas, an investigator from Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Commission assigned to the Adam Air case.

The aircraft departed Surabaya in eastern Java island on 1 January and was due to arrive at Manado in northern Sulawesi later that day but while en route the crew reportedly sent out a distress signal.

Wenas says there are two main search parties and one is searching Sulawesi island while the other is searching the sea along the aircraft’s flight path.

Indonesian authorities expanded the search to cover the sea after reports yesterday that wreckage and 12 survivors had been found on Sulawesi island proved to be incorrect.

The false reports had come from a local police chief in Sulawesi who interviewed a local village elder but later the villager denied providing the police chief with the information.

The aircraft, registered PK-KKW, was carrying 96 passengers and six crew.