Vietnam widens search near Strait of Malacca after futile initial effort
Updated: 2014-03-11 23:10
PHU QUOC ISLAND, Vietnam - Vietnam has widened the search for the missing Malaysian jetliner to the further east and west of the Gulf of Thailand. Meanwhile its joint operation with Malaysia near the Strait of Malacca has so far made little progress, said Do Minh Tuan, deputy commander of the air force at a press conference here Tuesday.
He told reporters that no suspected debris or other objects from the missing aircraft had been found and some of the objects found earlier were later dismissed as irrelevant to the jetliner after lab tests. These included the white floating objects reported by the Americans, which turned out to have nothing to do with the missing air plane.
Asked when the search operation would come to an end, he said the search effort would continue and probably at a bigger scope, and that no time limit would be set.
Vietnam has sent 10 sorties of aircrcft into this major search operation and planned to ask China to send two more aircraft as reinforcement, he said.
The MH 270 flight, operated by a Boeing 777-200 aircraft, left Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 0:41 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday and was expected to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. the same day.
Contact with the flight was lost along with its radar signal at 2:40 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday when it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area in Vietnam.