Chinese rescuers on way to find Malaysian airliner

Beijing, March 9: China sent an emergency response team Sunday morning to find the Malaysia Airlines flight that went missing with 239 people and crew on board Saturday morning.

A team assembled by the Chinese transport ministry set out from the Sanya port in Hainan province to the South China Sea area where the flight MH370 that took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing may have plunged, reports Xinhua.

Rescue vessel “South China Sea Rescue 101″ with 12 divers and salvagers, will join another rescue vessel, “South China Sea Rescue 115″, at the site, the report said.

Rescue operations remain challenging as the exact location of the possible crash is not clear and it will take about two days for the ship to reach the waters, said Zeng Ying, the leader of the emergency team.

“But we will try our best,” Zeng added.

Sanya port is 700 sea miles from the possible crash site. Both the rescue vessels have helipads which enable air search.

Meanwhile, another rescue vessel, “Tai Shun Hai” of China Ocean Shipping Company arrived at the possible crash site Sunday and started search operations, according to the transport ministry.

The Boeing 777-200ER aircraft operated by the Malaysia Airlines left Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 12.41 a.m. Saturday and was expected to land in Beijing at 6.30 a.m. after a 3,700-km trip.

Contact with the flight was lost along with its radar signal at 1.20 a.m. Beijing time Saturday when 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 five Indians, 154 Chinese and 38 Malaysians.

IANS