No clues to missing Malaysian airliner in Vietnam

Hanoi, March 12: Search operations for the fifth day Wednesday by Vietnamese aircraft and vessels failed to uncover any clue to the fate of the Malaysia Airlines plane that went missing early Saturday, officials said.

Deputy commander of Vietnamese Navy Le Minh Thanh told reporters that the Vietnamese government was doing everything in its power to find any clues to the whereabouts of the missing aircraft.

“There has been no change in the search. Search parties continue to sweep the western shore off the Phu Quoc island and the eastern areas off the Vietnamese coast, but no sign of debris or any other indication of the plane has been found,” Xinhua quoted him as saying.

The search, which is now utilising a civilian shipping vessel as well, was continuing in much the same pattern Wednesday, Le Minh added.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 with 239 passengers and crew on board vanished mysteriously without a trace about an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur early Saturday. The Boeing 777-200ER was presumed to have crashed off the Vietnamese coast in the South China Sea.

The plane took off from Kuala Lumpur at 12.41 a.m. Saturday and was due to land in Beijing at 6.30 a.m. the same day. The 227 passengers on the flight included five Indians, 154 Chinese and 38 Malaysians.

Contact with the plane was lost along with its radar signal at 1.40 a.m. Saturday when it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh City air traffic control area in Vietnam.

Vietnamese officials have assured all that the government would continue to deploy maximum resources within its capacity to find any trace of the passenger jet.

IANS