Thai radar may have detected missing Malaysian jet

Updated: 2014-03-19 03:04


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Thai radar may have detected missing Malaysian jet

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BANGKOK - A Thai air force radar station has detected the signal of an unidentified aircraft that departed from Malaysia and flew northward but later diverted possibly to the Strait of Malacca, air force chief Prajin Juntong said Tuesday.

The radar in the southern province of Surat Thani detected a passenger aircraft that diverted and passed the port city of Butterworth in Malaysia, Prajin was quoted by the Nation newspaper as saying.

The aircraft could have flown to the Strait of Malacca, he said, adding it remains to be confirmed whether it is the missing flight MH370 operated on a Boeing 777-200 with 239 people aboard.

The information has been passed to the Malaysian air force, Prajin said.

In addition, caretaker Foreign Minister Surapong Tohvichakchaikul said Tuesday he was expecting a call from his Malaysian counterpart concerning the cooperation in searching for the missing jet.

Related: Chinese vessels set out for new search areas

Chinese vessels will set out at 8 am on Wednesday for new search areas to hunt the Malaysian Airlines jetliner which went missing 11 days ago after Malaysia announced to further expand the search.

Nine vessels, including China's largest rescue ship Haixun 01, will sail off from Singapore to waters southeast of the Bay of Bengal and west of Indonesia, covering an area of 300,000 square kilometers, said the national maritime search and rescue center.

Efforts will focus on waters near Sumatra away from regions being searched by other countries, said Zhuo Li, vice director of the center.

According to the plan, four vessels heading north will pass through Strait of Malacca to reach the Bay of Bengal, while five others will travel south passing the Sunda Strait. [More]