Search continues for missing flight MH370
March 10, 2014
Published on Mar 10, 2014
Debris found fear oil slicks off coast of Vietnam, but no confirmation it belongs to plane
Search and rescue efforts are continuing this morning for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which went missing on Saturday en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The national carrier and air traffic controllers “lost all contact” with the aircraft on Saturday morning, and despite two days of international cooperation to find out what happened to the flight, its whereabouts remain unclear.
The focus of the search however, is on an area of the South China Sea close to the Ca Mau Peninsula in southern Vietnam. Two long oil slicks have been detected on the sea, which would be consistent with a plane crash, and early this morning it was reported that debris has been found in the same area. Whether it is related to the missing aircraft however, is still not clear.
“More than 24 hours after the lost of contact with Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, the search and rescue teams are still unable to detect the whereabouts of the missing aircraft,” MAS said in a statement on Sunday. The airline admitted it was “fearing for the worst”.
The flight, which was operated using a twin-aisle Boeing 777-200 aircraft, took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 0041 on Saturday morning, bound for Beijing. But air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane shortly afterwards and it failed to arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport at 0630 as scheduled. The last reported contact with flight MH370 was when it was flying over Kota Bharu, on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Reports carried by a Vietnamese newspaper that the plane had crashed into the sea near Phu Quoc Island were quickly denied by Malaysian authorities.
The flight was operated by MAS as part of a codeshare agreement with China Southern Airlines, and 153 of the 227 passengers onboard were Chinese nationals. A further 38 were Malaysian, seven Indonesian, five Indian, four Australia, three French and three American, with others from New Zealand, Ukraine, Canada, Russia and the Netherlands.
It has since emerged however, that two men thought to have been onboard – one Austrian and one Italian – never got on the flight. Both are reported to have had their passports stolen in Thailand. It was confirmed by authorities in China however, that both passengers flying on these stolen had purchased onward tickets from Beijing to Europe.
Until the aircraft is found, families of those onboard face a long and anxious wait.
Timeline of Events:
Saturday 0041: Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 departs Kuala Lumpur International Airport, bound for Beijing
Saturday 0130: Air traffic controllers lose contact with the aircraft close to Kota Bharu, on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia
Saturday 0630: Scheduled arrival time at Beijing Capital International Airport. The flight never arrived.
Saturday approx 1000: Reports that the plane made an emergency landing in the Chinese city of Nanming are denied
Saturday approx 1430: Reports the aircraft crashed off the coast of Phu Quoc Island are also denied
Saturday approx 2000: Vietnamese authorities spot two large oil slicks close to the Ca Mau Peninsula in southern Vietnam
Monday approx 0400: Debris is found in the water close to the oil slicks. Not clear at this stage whether it is related to the aircraft.
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