Chinese government joint working group leaves for Malaysia

 

 

 

WASHINGTON   2014-03-11 02:03:45

>>  U.S. Navy adds a destroyer to join search for missing Malaysian jetliner

By Sun Hao

The U.S. Navy said Monday it has dispatched one more Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer to join the multinational search for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

The USS Kidd, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, will join the USS Pinckney in the search efforts of the missing Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The USS Kidd brings its two MH-60R Seahawk helicopters designed for search and rescue, as well as anti-submarine warfare, anti- surface warfare, surveillance, communications relay, naval gunfire support and logistics support, the Navy said.

The USS Kidd, like the USS Pinckney, was conducting training and maritime security operations in international waters in the South China Sea before being sent to assist in the search efforts.

The U.S. Navy confirmed on Saturday that the USS Pinckney was diverted from a training mission and en route to aid in the search of the missing flight.

The Boeing 777 with 239 people aboard lost contact with the ground and disappeared early Saturday when it was flying to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-11 00:38:05

>>  China goes all-out to search for missing flight

By Han Xiaojing, Yang Yichen, Bai Xu and Luo Xiaoguang

China has been making all-out efforts to search for the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 with almost two-thirds of the passengers from China after more than 60 hours since it lost contact.

The search range of the six ships involved in the rescue efforts has been clarified, according to He Jianzhong, chief of China’s Maritime Search and Rescue Center and vice minister of transport.

Chinese warship Mianyang and a marine police vessel with hull number 3411 have begun searching the sea where the Beijing-bound MH370 flight from Kuala Lumpur might have lost contact, he said.

He said that three more patrol and rescue vessels under the command of the transport ministry are expected to arrive in the area on Monday and Tuesday. Their hull numbers are 115, 31 and 101.

As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, the rescue forces from China will increase to a total of six vessels and three helicopters on the target area, said Zhuo Li, deputy director with the China Marine Search and Rescue Center (CMSRC) of the Ministry of Transport.

He said that China’s maritime search and rescue forces will keep in close contact and cooperate with Malaysian and Vietnamese search forces. China will also mobilize merchant ships to assist with the search.

On Monday night, a working group with 13 members composed of officials with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has arrived at Malaysia for handling the aftermath of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight.

Guo Shaochun, deputy head of the Department of Consular Affairs with China’s Foreign Ministry, said at the airport that the group will start working immediately.

“We will call on the Malaysian side and other foreign parties involved in the rescue work to work together with Chinese planes and ships, to intensify research and rescue efforts, strengthen coordination and not to give up only if there is any hope,” Guo said earlier.

He also said the working group planned to coordinate with Malaysia and other countries to investigate the incident.

NO BREAKTHROUGH

Chinese marine police rescuers have found oil slicks in waters around the search site for a missing Malaysian plane and have sent samples to relevant authorities for analysis.

Samples were sent via proper channels on Monday at noon, according to a brief statement from China’s marine police bureau.

However, the statement provided no detail on whether the samples will be sent back to China or to the nearest lab.

China called on Malaysia to accelerate the search for the flight.

“We hope Malaysia can fully understand China, especially the mood of the Chinese passengers’ families and speed up investigation, search and rescue efforts,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a daily news briefing.

“We hope Malaysia can make it clear as soon as possible,” Qin said, while acknowledging the importance Malaysia attached to dealing with the incident and their sincerity to do all it could.

“The missing plane belongs to the Malaysian Airlines, so it is reasonable that the Malaysian side takes the major responsibility of the search and rescue work,” Qin said.

So far, there’s still no exact information about the location of the flight, according to Malaysian Airlines.

ANXIOUS RELATIVES

After waiting for three days in Hotel of Lido in Beijing, relatives of the passengers on broad the missing flight want nothing but more information about their missing family members.

Beijing has launched emergency rescue services, as well as a “green channel” for passport applications, said Liu Zhi, deputy secretary general of Beijing municipal government at a press conference.

However less and less relatives of the passengers are willing to travel to Malaysia for no purpose.

“What can we do there when they don’t even know the location of the plane,” said a relative, who decided to stay with his family in Beijing.

A middle-aged woman whose daughter was on the missing flight, believes her kid is fine.

“Her company asked me about compensation, but I don’t want to think about it right now,” said the mother, “It’s too earlier to jump to any conclusion.”

The Municipal government will also provide legal aid and psychological counselling for the relatives of the passengers.

The government has also ensured their accommodation and other services, he said.

As of 5 p.m. Monday, five reception sites have received a total of 357 relatives of passengers onboard the missing flight.

As of 7 p.m. Monday, the Civil Aviation Administration of China(CAAC) has not yet received any application from Malaysia Airlines for the chartered airplane for passengers’ relatives, according to the CAAC.

As soon as they receive an application, the CAAC will offer convenience, said the CAAC.

On Monday night, Malaysian Airlines said they will offer a “special consolation payment” of 31,000 yuan (5049.9 U.S. dollars) for each family of the passengers on broad the missing flight. Family members of the passengers are expected to receive the money on Tuesday afternoon.

Contact with the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was lost along with its radar signal at 1:20 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday as it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh City air traffic control area in Vietnam.

The flight was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers, including 154 Chinese.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-11 00:09:02

>>  MH370 relatives arrangements not disclosed

By Zhang Zhongkai and Qian Chunxian

Malaysia Airlines will fly MH370 passengers’ families from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur, according to the company website Monday.

The company is deploying an aircraft to bring the families from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur on March 11, but will reveal nothing of the flight or the families’ movements to protect their privacy.

Malaysia Airlines is working with the Chinese government to speed up passport formalities for the families, and with Malaysian immigration on visas, the statement said.

They are unable to comment on the stolen passports matter as as it is a security issue, the statement said.

Two passengers were found to have boarded the flight with false European passports.

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR   2014-03-10 23:12:40

>>  Chinese joint working group arrives in Malaysia

By Xie Xiyu and Zhao Bochao

A working group sent by the Chinese government arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Monday night to handle the aftermath of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.

The 13-member group is composed of officials with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

Guo Shaochun, deputy head of the Department of Consular Affairs with China’s Foreign Ministry, said at the airport that the group will start working immediately.

Earlier, he said in Beijing before leaving for Malaysia that the working group has planned to coordinate with Malaysia and other countries to investigate the incident.

China has been making all-out efforts to locate the missing flight MH370 and passengers on board, of whom nearly two-thirds from China.

Earlier in the afternoon, a delegation from the Ministry of Public Security of China arrived at Kuala Lumpur. They are about to help with search and rescue, identifying the passengers who boarded the missing plane with stolen passports and the settlement of family members of the passengers on the plane.

The Boeing 777-200 aircraft left Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 0:41 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday and was due to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. the same day.

Contact with the flight was lost along with its radar signal at 1:20 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday when it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area in Vietnam.

The flight was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers, including 154 Chinese.

 

 

 

HO CHI MINH CITY    2014-03-10 23:07:50

>>  Vietnam to widen search as no meaningful clues found so far

By Wang Bo

The Vietnamese search teams have so far been unable to confirm what the media in Singapore and other countries described as fallout or wreckage from the missing Malaysian jet liner and will further widen their search.

This was the main message given by Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Transportation Pham Quy Tieu at a latest press conference Monday evening at Phu Quoc Island, where a command post had been set up to guide the search and rescue effort to look for the missing aircraft.

The minister said the multinational search efforts have so far failed to make any meaningful findings, and the Vietnamese teams would discuss widening their search with the provincial authorities of Kien Giang Tuesday morning.

A multinational serach effort is under way in waters off the Vietnamese coast, which involves 34 aircraft and 40 ships from China, Malyasia, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.

A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 227 passengers, including 154 Chinese and 12 crew went missing in area near the South China Sea on Saturday as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-10 22:51:26

>>  Official urges more effort in flight search

By Liu Xinyong and Lin Hongmei

An official with China’s civil aviation authority on Monday urged Malaysia to intensify efforts in the search for an aircraft that lost contact early Saturday.

Xia Xinghua, vice director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, met managers of Malaysia Airlines, operator of the missing flight, and representatives from a Malaysian work group set up to deal with the incident.

The Malaysian government should reinforce their search efforts by stepping up the search and expanding its range, Xia said.

He added that the Malaysian side should ensure smooth and effective communication with China and properly console the family members of passengers on the missing flight.

The Malaysian sides should also give effective assistance to China’s work group to Malaysia for investigation of the incident, according to Xia.

A Boeing 777-200 aircraft operated by Malaysia Airlines 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.

Contact with the flight was lost along with its radar signal when it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area in Vietnam.

The flight was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers, including 154 Chinese.

 

 

 

 

HONG KONG   2014-03-10 22:50:17

>>  Suspected debris sighted by HK pilot in Vietnam waters

By Zhang  Tianguo

The pilot of a Hong Kong-Kuala Lumpur flight spotted what was described as large debris in Vietnamese waters and he reported the sighting to Hong Kong civil aviation authorities Monday.

The Civil Aviation Department of Hong Kong told Xinhua that they received the report from the pilot, who spotted the debris at 9.54 degrees north latitude and 107.25 degrees east longitude, an area some 500 km from where the Malaysian jetliner lost contact with air traffic controllers.

The department has submitted the message to the relavent authorities in Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur and Sanya in China’s Hainan province.

A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew went missing in area near the South China Sea on Saturday as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

 

 

 

 

 

ABOARD JINGGANGSHAN WARSHIP   2014-03-10 22:49:18

>>  Chinese warship arrives in search area for missing

Malaysian airliner, more on way

By Xiong Ping

Chinese warship Mianyang arrived early Monday in the search area for the missing Malaysian airliner and started its mission, with three more, including the Jinggangshan, on the way.

As of 11:00 a.m., Mianyang and Chinese marine police vessel “Marine Police 3411″ had completed a sweep of 1,600 square nautical miles (5,500 square km), Mianyang’s captain, Zhang Yu, said.

The two ships currently were sailing to the next search area, Zhang told Xinhua over phone.

Mianyang left for the possible crash site Saturday night, while Jinggangshan set out from Zhanjiang City in south China’s Guangdong Province at about 3:00 a.m. Sunday, carrying life-saving equipment, underwater detection facilities, supplies of water and food, two helicopters, 30 medical personnel, 10 divers and a 52-member marine contingent.

“The equipment is well prepared, rubber dinghies and assault boats could sail out immediately when required,” said Bu Kezhen, head of the search and rescue team of the marine contingent.

However, what worried him most was the uncertain ocean current, which was likely to restrict the time divers could stay under the surface.

Jinggangshan, which is scheduled to arrive in mission waters Monday, will join Mianyang in the search, including using helicopters.

“As soon as any victims, suspected floats or oil trace are spotted, we will immediately start to carry out rescue, salvage or sampling,” Jingangshan’s captain Liu Honghu said.

The planned search area is located at the mouth of the Gulf of Thailand, 400 nautical miles (741 km) long, 215 nautical miles (398 km) wide, and with an averaged depth of 60 meters.

Meanwhile, the destroyer Haikou and amphibious landing ship Kunlunshan are also heading for the area.

In addition, China’s navy has ordered two more specialized ocean rescue ships to stand ready to sail if needed.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 lost contact with ground control at 1:20 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday when flying over the Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area in Vietnam.

The flight was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers, including 154 Chinese nationals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR   2014-03-10 22:28:14

>>  Oil slick not from missing Malaysian plane

By Xie Xiyu and Zhao Bochao

Tests on a sample of the oil slicks found off the eastern Malaysia coast reveal that it was not from the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) eastern region enforcement chief Nasir Adam said on Monday that test results showed that it was caused by bunkering activities and not from an aircraft.

On Sunday, MMEA’s search team found an oil slick near Tok Bali, Kelantan state, but could not confirm whether it came from the missing plane or not.

Director General of Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said at a media conference on Monday that they will expand the range of search. On Monday, 34 aircraft and 40 ships were taking part in the search and rescue operation.

He said earlier that five passengers who had checked in to fly on the missing plane did not board, and that Malaysia Airlines had removed those passengers’ baggage when it learned they did not board the plane, in accordance with standard procedure.

Rahman said investigators were looking at “every angle” to explain the plane’s disappearance early Saturday, including hijacking.

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR   2014-03-10 22:24:13

>>  Malaysia dismisses connection between oil slick,

missing jet amid intensified search

By He Jing

Mystery continued to surround the fate of the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner after Malaysian authorities on Monday ruled out the connection between oil slick off the country’s eastern coast and the vanished flight.

Based on a lab analysis, samples taken from an oil slick found off Malaysia’s eastern coast state of Kelantan are not from the missing jet, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) eastern region enforcement chief Nasir Adam said late Monday.

He added that the oil was a type used by ship, not from an aircraft.

Flight MH370, operated by a Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 777-200 carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers lost contact with air traffic control early Saturday en rout from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

MMEA’s search team found an oil slick near Tok Bali, Kelantan state a day later, but could not confirm whether it came from the missing plane.

The slick, from which the samples were taken, was reportedly detected just south of the spot where the plane lost contact with the ground.

Some objects believed to belong to the ill-fated flight spotted earlier were also dismissed by Malaysian authorities as relevant items.

“Our focus right now is to try to locate the aircraft,” Hishammuddin Hussein, acting transport minister told a news conference.

Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation chief, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, said investigators were looking at “every angle” to explain the plane’s disappearance, including hijacking.

Dozens of military and civilian vessels have been criss- crossing waters beneath the aircraft’s flight path and their search area has widened to cover the Andaman Sea, the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea.

Four P-3C Orions, with capability for long-range searches, offered by the United States, Australia and New Zealand, are scouring the area for trace of the lost jet,the minister said.

Also on Monday, the chief Malaysian investigator disclosed that the two men who used stolen passports to board the jetliner that went missing Saturday were not of Asian appearance.

Interpol confirmed Sunday that at least two stolen passports were used by unidentified passengers on the plane and the agency is investigating more suspicious passports involved.

Malaysia’s state news agency, Bernama, has quoted Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as saying that the passengers using the stolen European passports were of Asian looking.

In a related development, Hishamuddin Hussein, acting minister of transportation, met with a delegation from China’s Ministry of Public Security that arrived at Kuala Lumpur to offer help.

According to Malaysia Airlines, there were 154 Chinese on board Flight MH370, along with 38 Malaysians, seven Indonesians, six Australians, five Indians, four French and three Americans.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has asked the Malaysian side to carry on search in a telephone conversation with his Malaysian counterpart Anifah Aman.

Every minute counts since there is a glimmer of hope, Wang said.

 

 

 

 

 

HANOI   2014-03-10 21:57:50

>>  Vietnam says large fragments spotted at sea by HK aircraft

By Zhang Jianhua

Vietnam said several large fragments were spotted in waters off southern Ba Ria Vung Tau province late Monday, as the search for a missing Malaysian jet continued.

According to Vietnam’s National Committee for Search and Rescue, late Monday afternoon, China’s Hong Kong Air Traffic Management Division informed them that a passing Hong Kong commercial aircraft spotted several large fragments in waters some 32 nautical miles (60 km) southeast of O Cap cape in southern Ba Ria Vung Tau province, local online newspaper VNExpress reported.

Le Van Chien, director of Vung Tau port authorities, told VNExpress that concerted efforts have been made to find the fragments and determine whether they come from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which vanished en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur Saturday morning with 239 people on board.

As there are many fishing boats operating in the area, Vung Tau port authorities have informed border guards, naval ships and fishing boats in the area to coordinate searching for the fragments, said Chien.

Local online newspaper Thanh Nien (Youth) on Monday also quoted Chien as adding that, as soon as receiving the information on the fragments, a Thai container vessel which was on its south-north route was asked to search from 17:30 to 18:00 local time (1030 to 1100 GMT). However, the ship failed to find any fragments.

Vung Tau port authorities pointed to the possibility that the fragments could be pieces of foam or nylon that fishermen had left while fishing there, said Chien.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-10 21:39:45

>>  Legal aid for MH370 passengers’ relatives

By Hu Tao, Yang Yichen and Guo Yujing

Beijing will provide legal aid for relatives of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, said government authorities on Monday.

Beijing has paid for psychological counselling, emergency rescue services, as well as a “green channel” for passport applications, said Liu Zhi, deputy secretary general of Beijing municipal government at a press conference.

The government has also ensured their accommodation, travel costs and other services, he said.

As of 5 p.m. Monday, five reception sites have received a total of 357 relatives of passengers onboard the missing flight.

Malaysia Airlines on Sunday in Beijing said that it would help relatives of passengers on board its missing flight to fly from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur.

As of 7 p.m. Monday, the Civil Aviation Administration of China(CAAC) has not yet received any application from Malaysia Airlines for the chartered airplane for passengers’ relatives, according to the CAAC.

As soon as they receive an application, the CAAC will offer convenience, said the CAAC.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-10 21:35:57

>>  China deploys satellites for missing plane search

By Zuo Yuanfeng

China has adjusted the operations of orbiting satellites to help in the search of the missing flight MH370, according to a website run by the People’s Liberation Army.

Citing Xi’an Satellite Monitor and Control Center, the China military web (chinamil.com.cn) reported late Monday that the center had launched an emergency response for the search and adjusted up to ten high-resolution satellites. The center purged the original commands of several satellites to offer full services in weather monitoring, communication and other aspects for the search.

Contact with Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was lost along with its radar signal at 1:20 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday as it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh City air traffic control area in Vietnam.

The flight was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers, including more than 150 Chinese.

A large-scale search conducted by multiple countries has found no sign of the plane so far.

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR   2014-03-10 21:34:47

>>  Two passengers on missing Malaysian flight

using false passports not with Asian appearance

By Xie Xiyu and Zha Bochao

Malaysia’s authorities confirmed on Monday that the two passengers boarding the missing Malaysian plane with false passports are not with Asian appearance.

Director General of Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation Azharuddin Abdul Rahman denied at a media conference an earlier report that the two passengers boarding Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 with false European passports are Asian looking, but he did not elaborate on how they are looking and where they are from.

Local media reported earlier Monday that one of the two suspects who used stolen passports has been identified. Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said the man has been identified based on CCTV footage gathered from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

The Boeing 777–200ER aircraft, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, vanished shortly after takeoff at 1:20 a.m. Saturday morning when it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area in Vietnam.

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR   2014-03-10 21:28:15

>>  Oil slick not from missing plane

By Xie Xiyu

Tests on a sample of the oil slicks found off the eastern Malaysia coast reveal that it was not from the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) eastern region enforcement chief Nasir Adam said on Monday that test results showed that it was caused by bunkering activities and not from an aircraft.

On Sunday, MMEA’s search team found an oil slick near Tok Bali, Kelantan state, but could not confirm whether it came from the missing plane.

Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation chief, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, told a news conference earlier that investigators were looking at “every angle” to explain the plane’s disappearance early Saturday, including hijacking.

 

 

 

 

 

LHASA   2014-03-10 21:14:58

>>  Tibetans pray for passengers on missing jet

By Zhang Jingpin, Wang Jun and Cao Bin

Monks and residents in Tibet are praying for the passengers on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that went missing more than two days ago.

“I hope the jet will be found soon and the people on it safe and sound,” said Phuntsog, a monk from Meru Monastery.

Phuntsog took out his smartphone and checked on latest news updates every now and then. His thoughts were with the 12 crew members and 227 passengers on the flight.

Choying posted a picture of Thangka painting and “Om mani padma hum,” the six-syllabled mantra of good omen in Tibetan on the mobile social networking application WeChat.

“A safe journey home, MH370,” read the post.

The Boeing 777-200 aircraft left Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia at 0:41 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday but failed to land in Beijing at the expected time of 6:30 a.m.

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.

Tibetans embraced the “Wood Horse Losar”, or the Tibetan New Year at the beginning of March. As festival celebrations are coming to an end, life and business return to normal.

“I pray for world peace and a year full of hope,” Drolkar said while turning a prayer wheel.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-10 21:14:06

>>  No other stolen IDs used to board missing plane: Chinese ministry

By Zuo Yuanfeng

The Ministry of Public Security said that aside from two passengers reported earlier to have used stolen European passports, no others on the missing Malaysian plane used false passports to board.

The ministry said the information was confirmed after Interpol examined and matched the identity information of all foreign passengers on board with its lost ID database.

A work team sent by the ministry is currently cooperating with the Malaysian side to jointly investigate the stolen ID case in Malaysia.

Contact with Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was lost along with its radar signal at 1:20 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday as it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh City air traffic control area in Vietnam.

The flight was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers, including more than 150 Chinese.

A large-scale search conducted by multiple countries has found no sign of the plane so far.

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR   2014-03-10 20:52:21

>>  Urgent: two passengers with false passports not with Asian appearance

By Xie Xiyu and Zhao Bochao

Malaysia’s authorities confirmed on Monday that the two passengers boarding on the missing Malaysia Airlines plane with false passports are not with Asian appearance.

 

 

 

 

 

SOUTH CHINA SEA   2014-03-10 20:46:55

>>  Chinese vessels search for missing flight

By Hu Tao and Zhao Yingquan

Two rescue vessels sent by the Ministry of Transport (MOT) will conduct parallel search works for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, said command authorities on Monday.

Rescue vessel “South China Sea Rescue 101″, carrying 12 divers and salvagers, will arrive at the target area around Tuesday noon, said Zhang Jianxin, deputy chief of the emergency response team on the vessel.

It will join rescue vessel “South China Sea Rescue 115,” which is expected to arrive in the area at about 8 p.m. Monday.

Both vessels are scheduled to search the sea in parallel from west to east following a course provided by the China Marine Search and Rescue Center(CMSRC), said Zhang.

Our mission follow the principle of “rescuing people first, then salvaging the wreckage,” said Zeng Zuoqing, head of the coordination sector of the team.

The search in daytime will be mainly visual, with auxiliary radar. At night, we will use search equipment such as optical tracking and infrared night-vision scope, he said.

The CMSRC will coordinate with its Malaysian counterpart to arrange more vessels.

A Boeing 777-200 aircraft operated by Malaysia Airlines 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.

Contact with the flight was lost along with its radar signal at 1:20 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday when it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area in Vietnam.

The flight was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers, including 154 Chinese.

 

 

 

 

 

HANOI  2014-03-10 20:30:38

>>  Vietnam rules out object comes from missing plane

By Zhang Jianhua

HANOI, March 10 (Xinhua) — Vietnamese navy ship salvaged a floating lifeboat-like object Monday but confirmed it had nothing to do with a missing Malaysian plane.

Vo Van Tuan, deputy chief of staff of the Vietnamese army, told reporters that the object turned out to be a moss-covered cable box.

Earlier, Vietnam sent a Mi 171 helicopter and a DHC6 seaplane from southern Phu Quoc island to the location where the object was spotted at the request of Malaysia.

The floating object was located at 081650 North (Latitude) and 105110 East (Longitude), or 130 km southwest of Vietnam’s Tho Chu island.

Vietnam has set up a command for search and rescue operation on Phu Quoc island.

The whereabouts of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 operated by a Boeing 777-200 with 12 crew members and 227 passengers including 154 Chinese on board has not been known since it lost contact with air traffic control early on Saturday morning on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, though an international search operation was intensified and widened throughout a large area at sea where it was presumed to have crashed.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-10 20:30:31

>>  China urges Malaysia to speed up search of missing plane

By Wang Huihui, Li Lu and Wang Zhuolun

China on Monday called on Malaysia to accelerate the search for flight MH370, missing with 239 on board,including 154 Chinese.

“We hope Malaysia can fully understand China, especially the mood of the Chinese passengers’ families and speed up investigation, search and rescue efforts,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a daily news briefing.

“We hope Malaysia can make it clear as soon as possible,” Qin said, while acknowledging the importance Malaysia attached to dealing with the incident and their sincerity to do all it could.

“The missing plane belongs to the Malaysian Airline, so it is reasonable that the Malaysian side takes the major responsibility of the search and rescue work,” Qin said.

As there are more than 150 Chinese passengers on board, the Chinese government naturally takes a highly responsible attitude and has gone all-out to join in the process, he said.

China is obliged to ask and urge the Malaysian side to strengthen the search and rescue, step up investigations as soon as possible, inform the Chinese side of the developments accurately and timely, and properly handle the aftermath, Qin said.

Qin said the top priority remains search and rescue. Naval vessels, coast guard, rescue ships and cargo ships dispatched by China are expected to arrive, or have arrived at the suspected waters.

“We hope that all the passing ships of whatever countries will assist in the search and rescue,” Qin said.

China’s Ministry of Public Security had sent a working group to Malaysia to investigate into two people using stolen passports to board on the plane, Qin said, “but we can not identify who are using the passports yet.”

He confirmed that no Chinese citizens’ passports were stolen, saying previous media reports were caused by the wrong passport numbers provided by the Malaysian Airlines.

“As the investigation is still underway, it is too early to jump to a conclusion,” the spokesman said, calling on the public to keep calm and avoid circulating false information.

China has joined Vietnam, Malaysia and other countries for the search and rescue work as the whole country continues to hope for the safety of the passengers onboard. A Chinese governmental work group left Beijing on Monday morning for Kuala Lumpur.

The Boeing 777-200 aircraft left Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 0:41 a.m.(1641 GMT) on Saturday and was expected to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m.(2230 GMT) that day.

Contact with the flight was lost along with its radar signal at 2:40 a.m.(1730 GMT) on Saturday when it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area in Vietnam.

 

 

 

 

 

HANOI   2014-03-10 20:15:46

>>  Vietnam rules out object comes from missing plane

By Zhang Jianhua

Vietnamese navy ship salvaged a floating lifeboat-like object Monday but confirmed it had nothing to do with a missing Malaysian plane.

Vo Van Tuan, deputy chief of staff of the Vietnamese army, told reporters that the object was a mossy-covered cable box.

Earlier, Vietnam sent a Mi 171 helicopter and a DHC6 seaplane from southern Phu Quoc island to the location where the object was spotted at the request of Malaysia.

The floating object was located at 081650 North (Latitude) and 105110 East (Longitude), or 130 km southwest of Vietnam’s Tho Chu island.

Vietnam has set up a command for search and rescue operation on Phu Quoc island.

The whereabouts of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 operated by a Boeing 777-200 with 12 crew members and 227 passengers including 154 Chinese on board has not been known since it lost contact with air traffic control early on Saturday morning on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, though an international search operation was intensified and widened throughout a large area at sea where it vanished from radar screen.

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR   2014-03-10 19:46:52

>>  Malaysia Airlines continues emergency management operation

Malaysia Airlines is working closely with various sides in taking care of families and crews of a missing passenger jet and cooperating with the search and rescue authorities coordinated by the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia (DCA) and the Ministry of Transport, the company said Monday afternoon.

In its 10th statement since the weekend disappearance of its MH370 flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard, the company said that it is working closely with the government of China to expedite the issuance of passports for the families intending to travel to Malaysia.

Malaysia Airlines is deploying an additional aircraft to bring the families from Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.

But the company said that to protect the privacy and well-being of the families, the flight details of the families’ arrival and their movements would be kept confidential.

The company’s partners have been engaged to help bring family members in other countries aside from China into Kuala Lumpur.

The company will provide the families with timely information, travel facilities, accommodation, meals, medical and emotional support. The costs for these are all borne by Malaysia Airlines, the statement said.

Regarding queries about how the passengers with the stolen passports purchased their tickets, the company did not comment on the matter, calling it a security issue.

The company said it has given all the flight details to the authorities for further investigation.

DCA has confirmed that search and rescue teams from Australia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, New Zealand and the United States of America have come forward to assist.

The Boeing 777-200 aircraft operated by Malaysia Airlines left Kuala Lumpur International Airport for Beijing at 00:41 a.m. Saturday, and lost contact at around 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

The aircraft was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers including 154 Chinese. There has been no confirmed information about the fate of the plane yet.

 

 

 

 

 

PHNOM PENH   2014-03-10 19:40:12

>>  Cambodia tightens aviation security after Malaysian flight vanishes

Cambodia would further tighten security on passengers’ identities following the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines plane with two passengers boarding with stolen passports, a senior official at the Security and Safety Department at the Civil Aviation said Monday.

“In fact, our security at all airports is very strict already. Our immigration police have checked passports very carefully, it is impossible for passengers to board a plane on stolen passports,” he told Xinhua and asked not to be named because he was not in the position to speak with the press.

The Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board went missing on its way from Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur to China’s Beijing early Saturday, the carrier said, adding that it lost communication and radar signal two hours into the flight over south Vietnam at 1:20 a.m. local time.

According to the airlines, a total of 154 Chinese nationals were onboard the plane.

Two passengers were found to have used stolen passports, raising concerns about the possibilities of terrorist attack.

An international search and rescue effort has already been launched to locate the missing plane, but no solid clues have been found yet.

Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, director general of the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation, said so far, 34 aircraft and 40 ships from different countries including China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the United States, Thailand, Australia, the Philippines etc. are participating in the search and rescue over the suspected location of the missing plane.

Vice Admiral Tea Sokha, commander of the Cambodian Maritime Space, said Monday that Cambodia had not sent any ships or rescuers to assist the search operation since the suspected location of the missing plane was very far from Cambodia.

“It is very far from Cambodian territory and our ships are small and our capacity is limited, so we cannot help the search and rescue efforts,” he told Xinhua. “However, we are deeply concerned over the safety of the passengers on board the missing plane.”

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR   2014-03-10 19:13:30

>>  Chinese vessel to arrive at missing flight search site

By Shi Hao and Lin Hongmei

A Chinese search vessel is expected to arrive by 20:00 Beijing time Monday at the site where a Malaysian aircraft carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers, including 154 Chinese, lost contact early on Saturday.

The vessel was within 70 nautical miles from the site at 16:00, captain Peng Jianbo told Xinhua by satellite phone.

The vessel is equipped with searchlights, search radar and night vision goggles and is capable of search and rescue at night.

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR   2014-03-10 19:12:49

>>  Malaysia cooperates with China in handling issues related to missing plane

The Malaysian authorities are working closely with the Chinese government in handling matters related to the missing Malaysian Airlines aircraft, said an official here Monday.

Hishamuddin Hussein, acting minister of transportation, said he just met with a delegation from China following his conversation with the Chinese leadership Sunday night.

He said the delegation, from China’s Ministry of Public Security, came here to help with the search and rescue operation, offering support to family members of the passengers and identifying those passengers with false passports.

Hussein noted that the Chinese delegation’s involvement does not mean the two passengers boarding with false passports are Chinese. The closed-circuit television videos concerning the two passengers had been given to intelligence agencies for investigation, he added.

The acting minister appealed to the media not to report unverified and false information which would be unfair to the families of the passengers and distract the search and rescue operation.

The missing Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 777-200ER carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew lost contact with air traffic controllers off the eastern Malaysia coast on Saturday wee hours.

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR   2014-03-10 19:00:47

>>  Malaysia intensifies search for missing jet: official

By Xia Fan

An international team is intensifying and expanding its effort in the search of a missing plane, a Malaysian official said here Monday afternoon, more than 60 hours after it lost contact with air traffic control last Saturday.

“Our focus right now is to try to locate the aircraft,” Hishammuddin Hussein, acting transport minister told a latest news conference as search and rescue teams continue their search in a vast area that includes the Andaman Sea as well as the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea.

Four P-3C Orions, with capability for long-range searches, offered by the United States, Australia and New Zealand, are now in the search area, the minister said, but he admitted that little progress had been made in finding the missing plane.

Flight MH370, operated by a Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 777-200 carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers including 154 Chinese, lost contact with air traffic control early on Saturday on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Some objects believed to come from the ill-fated flight were found earlier, but were later dismissed by authorities as irrelevant items.

Referring to the investigation into the manifest, Hussein said a study of the whole manifest has been carried out and sent to relevant authorities for further analysis.

“We have done a study on the whole manifest, of all the passengers concerned,” he said. “I think we have the capacity to actually detail every single aspect of those passengers involved.”

“But this information must get to relevant authorities, which it has; it got to be digested. When the time comes it will not affect the ongoing investigations, you guys (reporters) will be the first to know.”

In response to a question about the two passengers using fake passports, the official said he has met with U.S. intelligence officials to discuss biometrics and visuals. Enditem

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-10 18:26:12

>>  Experts emphasize China’s role in rescue mission

By Zhong Qun, Wang Pan and Huang Yan

As China makes all-out efforts to locate the missing passengers on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, experts have weighed in on the importance of China’s role in the salvage mission.

Li Jinming, deputy director with the marine policy and law center of Xiamen University, emphasized the need for China’s role in the rescue, saying that since almost two-thirds of the passengers on board the plane were Chinese, it is China’s “bounden duty” to be part of the rescue efforts.

Li said that China should play an important role in the rescue, noting that the country boasts advantages, as its marine forces are better equipped compared with many neighboring countries and regions.

Shi Yinhong, a professor at the School of International Studies of Renmin University, said that the investigation of the accident following the salvage mission will be long, and that China will be inseparable from the process.

An emergency response team assembled by the Ministry of Transport (MOT) set out early Sunday from south China’s Sanya Port in Hainan Province to the waters where the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 might have crashed.

The largest patrol vessel in the South China Sea, Haixun 31, departed from Sanya on Sunday afternoon and is scheduled to arrive at the site on Tuesday afternoon, carrying 50 rescuers as well as equipment including a maritime helicopter and sonar systems.

Rescue vessel South China Sea Rescue 101 is carrying 12 divers and salvagers and will join another rescue vessel, South China Sea Rescue 115, at the rescue site.

The latter ship is scheduled to arrive at the site on Monday night, while South China Sea Rescue 101 will arrive on Tuesday afternoon, according to the MOT.

South China Sea Rescue 101 is 109.7 meters long, with 6,200 tonnes of full load displacement.

Meanwhile, another rescue vessel, Tai Shun Hai of China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company, arrived at the suspected crash site at 9 a.m. Sunday and started searching, according to the MOT.

Contact with the flight was lost along with its radar signal at 2:40 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday as it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh City air traffic control area in Vietnam.

The flight was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers, including 154 Chinese.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-10 17:27:00

>>  Chinese rescuers send oil samples for analysis

By Cheng Zhuo

Chinese marine police rescuers have found oil slicks in waters around the search site for a missing Malaysian plane and have sent samples to relevant authorities for analysis.

Marine Police 3411, a Chinese marine police vessel searching for the missing Beijing-bound plane, reached the search area on Sunday afternoon, and samples from the oil slicks were sent via proper channels on Monday at noon, according to a brief statement from China’s marine police bureau.

Efforts have been made to ensure the samples reach relevant organs at the earliest possible time, the bureau said.

However, the statement provided no detail on whether the samples will be sent back to China or to the nearest lab.

Contact with Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was lost along with its radar signal at 1:20 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday as it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh City air traffic control area in Vietnam.

The flight was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers, including more than 150 Chinese.

 

 

 

 

 

HANOI   2014-03-10 16:13:15

>>  Vietnam to check floating lifeboat-like object at sea

By Zhang Jianhua

Vietnam is sending aircraft to check up if a lifeboat-like floating object found at sea comes from the missing Malaysian Airlines jet, a pilot told Xinhua on Monday.

The floating object is located at 081650 North (Latitude) and 105110 East (Longitude), according to the pilot.

One Mi 171 helicopter and DHC6 seaplane of Vietnamese navy are leaving for the spot, Tran Van Quang, commander of regiment 917, Division 370 of the Air and Air defense force told Xinhua by phone.

Quang, who is also pilot of the Mi 171, said that the two aircraft are ready to head for the location from Phu Quoc island in southern Vietnam where a field headquarters for search and rescue operation was set up.

Quang said it will take the Mi 171 an hour and 20 minutes to reach the location where the object was spotted.

Earlier, Malaysia informed Vietnam that it spotted a lifeboat- like object at sea and asked Vietnam to verify if it belongs to the missing plane.

Flight MH370, operated by a Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 777-200 carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers including 154 Chinese, lost contact with air traffic control early on Saturday on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

 

 

 

 

 

HANOI   2014-03-10 15:53:03

>>  Vietnam to check floating lifeboat-like object at sea

By Zhang Jianhua

Vietnam is sending aircraft to check up if a lifeboat-like floating object found at sea comes from the missing Malaysian Airlines jet, a pilot told Xinhua on Monday of March 10.

The floating object that Malaysia spotted is located at 081650 North (Latitude) and 105110 East (Longitude), according to the pilot.

One Mi 171 helicopter and DHC6 seaplane of Vietnamese navy are leaving for the spot, Tran Van Quang, commander of regiment 917, Division 370 of the Air and Air defense force told Xinhua by phone.

The two aircraft are ready to head for the location from Phu Quoc island, he said. Quang is also pilot of the Mi 171 aircraft.

 

 

 

 

 

HANOI   2014-03-10 15:46:02

>>  Urgent: Vietnam to check boat-like floating object at sea

By Zhang Jianhua

Vietnam is sending aircraft to check up if a floating lifeboat-like object found at sea comes from the missing Malaysian Airlines jet, a pilot told Xinhua.

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR    2014-03-10 15:01:26

>>  Backgrounder: Malaysia Airlines — one of Asia’s leading carrier

By He Jing

A multilateral search and rescue effort on Monday still failed to locate the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 with 239 people on board, more than two days after its disappearance en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Malaysia Airlines was formed in October 1937 as Malayan Airways Ltd and made its maiden commercial flight in April 1947.

As the flag carrier of Malaysia, it operates flights from its home base, Kuala Lumpur International Airport and with a secondary hub in Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.

Malaysia Airlines is reputed to be one of Asia’s best carrier granted with more than 100 awards in the past 10 years, including top honors from Skytrax UK and the World Travel Awards.

It now flies to 87 destinations across six continents with a particularly strong presence in the Southeast Asia region.

Last year, Malaysia Airlines joined the Oneworld airline alliance, one of the three largest airline alliances, linking it to 850 destinations in 150 countries across the group’s network.

The airlines reportedly have 88 aircraft in its fleet, including Airbus A330s and A380s and Boeing 777-200s and 737s.

Its fleet of 777-200ERs has an average age of 14.2 years, one of the oldest such fleets of 777-200s globally, according to online reports.

However, the Malaysia’s flag carrier has been mired in a protracted financial crisis.

The airline announced earlier this year that it posted a net loss of 1.17 billion ringgit (359 million U.S. dollars) in 2013 due to fierce competition, rocketing fuel prices and volatile foreign exchange rates.

The amount was almost three times more than the losses in 2012 when it kick-started an aggressive cost-cutting campaign.

Despite acute financial problems, the airlines still set up a record as one of the Asia-Pacific’s best full-service carriers in terms of safety and service.

The most deadly crash to date involving a Malaysian aircraft took place in 1977 in which a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-200 was hijacked and crashed in Tanjung Kupang in Johor state, killing all 100 people on board.

On Sept. 15, 1995, a Malaysia Airlines Fokker 50 crashed on approach to Tawau, a town in the Eastern Malaysian state of Sabah, resulting in 34 deaths.

 

 

 

 

BEIJING    2014-03-10 15:00:44

>>  China creates search plan for Malaysia Airlines jet

By Zhu Shaobin and Lin Hongmei

Chief of China’s Maritime Search and Rescue Center He Jianzhong said Monday the country has created a plan for the search and rescue of a missing Malaysia Airlines jet.

The search and rescue plan involves four patrol and rescue vessels and two naval warships. The search range of the six ships has also been clarified, said He, who is also vice minister of transport.

Chinese warship Mianyang and a marine police vessel with hull number 3411 have begun searching the sea where the Beijing-bound MH370 flight from Kuala Lumpur might have lost contact, he said.

He said that three more patrol and rescue vessels under the command of the transport ministry are expected to arrive in the area on Monday and Tuesday. Their hull numbers are 115, 31 and 101.

Rescue ship 115 is expected to arrive at around 4 p.m. Monday. The naval warship Jinggangshan and two other patrol and rescue vessels are expected to arrive on Tuesday, he said.

He said that China’s maritime search and rescue forces will keep in close contact and cooperate with Malaysian and Vietnamese search forces. China will also mobilize merchant ships to assist with the search.

Contact with the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was lost along with its radar signal at 1:20 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday as it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh City air traffic control area in Vietnam.

The flight was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers, including 154 Chinese.

 

 

 

 

 

HANOI   2014-03-10 14:57:46

>>  Vietnam tightens aviation security

By Zhang Jianhua

Vietnamese transport ministry has ordered its aviation sector to tighten security after a Malaysian jet went missing near the country.

Dinh Viet Thang, deputy chief of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV), told Dan Tri (Knowledge for People) online newspaper on Monday that Vietnam is now on the first level of a three-level security alert system.

Thang said an initial warning is necessary for improving the national aviation security, as a Malaysian airplane disappeared near Vietnam, reported Thanhnien (Young People) online Monday.

Accordingly, security was tightened in and around the country’ s largest airport Tan Son Nhat in southern Ho Chi Minh City and Noi Bai International Airport in capital Hanoi.

Passengers are randomly subjected to intensive checks, before boarding a plane.

Flight MH370, carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers, including 154 Chinese, operated by Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 777- 200 left Kuala Lumpur International Airport for Beijing lost contact with air traffic control on Saturday when it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area in south Vietnam.

Interpol on Sunday confirmed that at least two stolen passports were used by unidentified passengers on the plane, adding that the agency is investigating more suspicious passports involved.

On Saturday, Italian and Austrian authorities confirmed that passports of Christian Kozel and Luigi Maraldi, whose names were listed in the MH370 manifest, had both been stolen in Thailand.

Malaysia’s state news agency, Bernama, quoted Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi late Sunday as saying that the passengers using the stolen European passports were of Asian appearance.

 

 

 

 

KUALA LAMPUR   2014-03-10 14:50:15

>>  Malaysia says still no evidence of missing aircraft

By Xie Xiyu and Zhao Bochao

The director general of Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation said on Monday that all the objects spotted in the sea have not been confirmed as the debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft.

“Unfortunately … we have not found anything that appears to be objects from the aircraft, let alone the aircraft itself,” Dato ‘ Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, director general of the Department of Civil Aviation, said at a press conference here.

Vietnamese authorities, he added, have not confirmed the reported finding of some objects believed to come from Flight MH370, which lost contact with traffic controls in the wee hours of Saturday with 239 people on board.

Rahman said at present 34 aircraft and 40 ships from different countries including China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the United States, Thailand, Australia, the Philippines, etc. are participating in the search and rescue over a wide area.

He added that Malaysia has collected the sample of the oil slicks found in the sea earlier and sent it to a laboratory to verify if it was from the missing plane and they will publicize the lab report immediately when it comes out.

Rahman said that every aspect of what could happen should be considered as it was speculated that maybe the plane was hijacked. As for two passengers boarding on the plane with false European passports were reported Asian looking, he said the investigation is ongoing and all the relevant videos will be gone through.

CEO of Malaysia Airlines Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said they will arrange two family members of each passenger to come to Kuala Lumpur immediately and up to five family members for each in total, all of them will be accommodated in Kuala Lumpur.

Rahman said he felt puzzled as well about what happened to the plane and more concrete evidence is needed, thus a lot of work has to be done.

 

 

 

 

 

BANGKOK   2014-03-10 14:33:02

>>  Thai navy searches for missing Malaysian airliner in Andaman Sea

By Surasak

A Thai navy boat is searching the lower part of the Andaman Sea off southern Thailand in a search and rescue mission following Saturday’s reported missing of a Malaysian Airline plane with 239 passengers and crew members aboard.

Thai navy secretary Rear Adm. Kan Dee-ubon said on Monday HTMS Pattani is conducting the search and rescue mission near Langkawi and Perlis islands in the Andaman Sea but found nothing yet.

Navies of several countries in the Southeast Asian region plus those of China and the United States have joined efforts to search the Boeing 777 flight MH 370 which was reported missing after it had taken off from Kuala Lumpur with destination in Beijing.

The Thai navy has prepared a few other patrol boats and aircraft to join the search and rescue mission. HTMS Pattani has not as yet located any flotsam which might possibly be part of the missing airliner, the navy secretary said.

“We’re having one boat doing the search and rescue mission in the lower part of the Andaman Sea but we will certainly send for more to join if necessary or requested by the Malaysian authorities,” he said.

On stand-by at Pang-nga naval station are HTMS Songkla and a few other patrol boats as well as a Dornier patrol plane.

Though the Andaman Sea was not part of the Malaysia Airline plane’s flight path, it is currently under surveillance by the Thai and Malaysian navies because the plane had reportedly changed its course mid-air and might probably have headed back to the Malaysian capital for unknown reasons.

Meanwhile, search and rescue missions are going on in the South China Sea while a Vietnamese navy aircraft spotted a few objects, one looking like a door of an airplane, floating some 50 miles off southwestern Vietnam.

The Malaysian authorities have suspected that international terrorists might possibly have been involved, given the reported uses of fake and invalid passports among the 227 passengers of the missing plane.

Two European nationals who were falsely identified as passengers on the Malaysia Airline flight 370 had reportedly lost their passports while in Thailand while a few others on the plane were believed to have used invalid passports.

 

 

 

 

 

HANOI   2014-03-10 13:25:15

>>  Vietnam allows Chinese, U.S. vessels to enter its waters

to search for missing Malaysian jet

Vietnam allowed Chinese and U.S. vessels to enter its waters to search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight, said Vietnam’s National Committee for Search and Rescue Monday.

According to the committee, three Chinese vessels and one U.S. vessel were licensed by the Vietnamese defense ministry.

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LAMPUR   2014-03-10 13:05:03

>>  Urgent: Malaysia says still no evidence of missing aircraft

By Xie Xiyu

Malaysia has yet to verify reports that Vietnamese rescue planes had spotted a part of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet with 239 people on board, Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia Azharuddin Abdul Rahman told a press conference Monday.

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR   2014-03-10 12:46:07

>>  Malaysian official says no confirmed debris from missing jet

By Deng Yushan

A Malaysian official said Monday that no confirmed debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane has been found yet.

“Unfortunately … we have not found anything that appears to be objects from the aircraft, let alone the aircraft itself,” Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, director general of the Department of Civil Aviation, said at a press conference here.

Vietnamese authorities, he added, have not confirmed the reported finding of some objects believed to come from Flight MH370, which lost contact with traffic control in the wee hours of Saturday with 239 people on board.

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR   2014-03-10 12:37:38

>>  Urgent: Malaysian official says no confirmed debris from missing jet

A Malaysian official said Monday that no confirmed debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane has been found yet.

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR & PHU QUOC ISLAND, Vietnam   2014-03-10 12:31:21

Massive search for MH370 continues, no solid results yet

By Zhu Dongyang

The international massive search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane continued Monday, but no solid clues have been found yet.

Vietnamese airborne searchers reportedly spotted an object on Sunday floating at the area where the Boeing 777 aircraft suddenly vanished from radar screens and suspected it to be a door of the ill-fated plane.

“From this object, hopefully (we) will find the missing plane,” state-run Thanh Nien daily quoted Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan, deputy chief of staff of the Vietnamese army, as saying.

However, till Monday noon searching ships have failed to locate the item.

According to the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation, search and rescue teams from Australia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines and the United States have joined the hunt.

Chinese warship Mianyang arrived at the waters on Monday morning three hours ahead of schedule, and it started searching operations upon its arrival.

Also on Monday morning, a Chinese governmental work group left Beijing for Kuala Lumpur. “The most pressing and important work remains search and rescue,” said Guo Shaochun, head of the group.

A team of experts from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing were also expected to arrive at Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

Meanwhile, Malaysian authorities expect to complete by Monday afternoon a lab analysis of the samples collected from an oil slick at the suspected waters. The oil has triggered speculations that the plane might have crashed nearby.

In parallel with the intensive hunt for the missing plane, which was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, investigation into the use of stole passports has also picked up steam.

Interpol on Sunday confirmed that at least two stolen passports were used by unidentified passengers on the plane, adding that the agency is investigating more suspicious passports involved.

On Saturday, Italian and Austrian authorities confirmed that passports of Christian Kozel and Luigi Maraldi, whose names were listed in the MH370 manifest, had both been stolen in Thailand.

The theft was registered in Interpol’s database, which is only available to law enforcement authorities. And “few member countries have systematically searched Interpol’s databases,” said the agency.

Malaysia’s state news agency, Bernama, quoted Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as saying that the passengers using the stolen European passports were of Asian appearance.

“I am still perturbed. Can’t these immigration officials think? Italian and Austrian (passport holders) but with Asian faces,” he was quoted as saying late Sunday.

Although it is too soon to speculate about any connection between these stolen passports and the missing plane, said Interpol’s secretary-general, Ronald Noble, “it is clearly of great concern that any passenger was able to board an international flight using a stolen passport listed in Interpol’s databases.”

In Thailand, a senior police officer said Sunday that authorities were probing a passport racket on the resort island of Phuket, where Maraldi’s passport was stolen.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-10 11:36:14

>>  Chinese warship arrives at suspected site of missing Malaysian plane

By Tian Ye

Chinese warship Mianyang has arrived at the waters suspected to be the site of the missing Beijing-bound Malaysian jetliner, military sources said on Monday.

The warship arrived at the waters where the aircraft lost contact at around 3:50 a.m. on Monday, three hours ahead of schedule. It started rescue operations upon its arrival.

Contact with the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was lost along with its radar signal at 1:20 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday when it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area in Vietnam.

The flight was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers, including 154 Chinese.

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR   2014-03-10 11:29:12

>>  Malaysia Airlines to focus on caring for families of

missing jet passengers: statement

By Hu Dandan

Malaysia Airlines’ primary focus at this point is to care for the families of passengers of the missing MH370 flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, the company said Monday morning in its 9th statement since the weekend disappearance of the passenger jet with 239 people aboard.

This means providing them with timely information, travel facilities, accommodation, meals, medical and emotional support. The costs for these are all borne by Malaysia Airlines, said the statement released at 10 a.m. Monday morning, or 0200 GMT.

At least one caregiver is assigned to each family. These caregivers are well-trained staff and volunteers from Malaysia and other organizations, the company said in the statement.

Malaysia Airlines said that it has been actively cooperating with the search and rescue authorities coordinated by the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia (DCA), but so far no positive finding has been established on the whereabouts of the aircraft.

DCA has confirmed that search and rescue teams from Australia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines and the United States of America have come forward to assist. When the aircraft is located, a Response Coordination Center ( RCC) will be activated within the vicinity to support the needs of the families, the statement said. The Boeing 777-200 aircraft operated by Malaysia Airlines left Kuala Lumpur International Airport for Beijing at 00:41 a.m. Saturday, and lost contact with Subang Air Traffic Control at around 1:30 a.m. Saturday. The aircraft was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers including 154 Chinese. There has been no confirmed information about the fate of the plane yet.

 

 

 

The rescue vessel “South China Sea Rescue 101″ heads towards the possible crash site

of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. China’s rescue vessels “South China Sea

Rescue 115″ and “South China Sea Rescue 101″ will arrive at the possible crash site

respectively on Monday night and Tuesday night to join the salvage mission for

missing flight MH370.   Photo by Zhao Yingquan

 

Members of a Chinese emergency response team adjust equipment on the rescue vessel

“South China Sea Rescue 101″, on the way to the possible crash site of missing Malaysia

Airlines flight MH370.   Photo by Zhao Yingquan

 

Members of a Chinese emergency response team adjust equipment on the rescue vessel

“South China Sea Rescue 101″, on the way to the possible crash site of missing Malaysia

Airlines flight MH370.   Photo by Zhao Yingquan

 

Members of a Chinese emergency response team adjust equipment on the rescue vessel

“South China Sea Rescue 101″, on the way to the possible crash site of missing Malaysia

Airlines flight MH370.    Photo by Zhao Yingquan

 

A member of a Chinese emergency response team adjusts equipment on the rescue vessel

“South China Sea Rescue 101″, on the way to the possible crash site of missing Malaysia

Airlines flight MH370.   Photo by Zhao Yingquan

 

Members of a Chinese emergency response team adjust equipment on the rescue vessel

“South China Sea Rescue 101″, on the way to the possible crash site of missing Malaysia

Airlines flight MH370.    Photo by Zhao Yingquan

 

Members of a Chinese emergency response team adjust equipment on the rescue vessel

“South China Sea Rescue 101″, on the way to the possible crash site of missing Malaysia

Airlines flight MH370.   Photo by Zhao Yingquan

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-10 09:41:45

>>  Chinese government joint working group leaves for Malaysia

By Qian Tong

The Chinese government sent a working group Monday morning to Malaysia for handling the aftermath of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight.

According to earlier report, the 13-member group is composed of officials with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

“The most pressing and important work remains search and rescue,” said Guo Shaochun, deputy head of the Department of Consular Affairs with China’s Foreign Ministry.

“We will call on the Malaysian side and other foreign parties involved in the rescue work to work together with Chinese planes and ships, to intensify research and rescue efforts, strengthen coordination and not to give up only if there is any hope,” Guo, also head of the group, said.

He also said the working group planned to coordinate with Malaysia and other countries to investigate the incident.

According to Guo, some family members of passengers on board the missing flight will head for Malaysia with the arrangement of the Malaysian Airlines.

The group is scheduled to arrive in Malaysia on today’s evening.

China has been making all-out efforts to locate the missing passengers on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, almost two-thirds of them from China.

The 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. that 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.

The flight was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers, including 154 Chinese.

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-10 02:04:24

>>  Chinese government to send joint working group for Malaysia

By Qian Tong

The Chinese government will send a working group later Monday morning to Malaysia for handling the aftermath of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight.

The group is scheduled to leave Beijing on March 10 morning and arrive in the country later the same day.

According to the website of China’s Foreign Ministry, the group is composed of officials with the foreign ministry, ministry of public security, transport ministry and civil aviation administration.

It aims to coordinate with Chinese Embassy in Malaysia to handle the relevant issues, including urging the Malaysian side to speed up search and rescue mission, investigating the incident and helping the family members already in Malaysia.

China is making all-out efforts to locate the missing passengers on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, almost two-thirds of them from China.

The 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.

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.

The flight was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers, including 154 Chinese.

 

 

 

 

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