US dispatches destroyer to search for Malaysian airliner

Washington, March 9: The US Navy said Saturday that it has dispatched a warship to assist in the search for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

The USS Pinckney, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, is en route to the southern coast of Vietnam to aid in the search for flight MH370, Xinhua quoted the US Navy as saying on its website.

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

The Pinckney was conducting training and maritime security operations in international waters of the South China Sea. The ship carries two helicopters equipped for search and rescue. It is expected to reach the search area within 24 hours.

The Navy said it is also deploying an Orion aircraft based in Okinawa, Japan. It will bring long-range search, radar and communications capabilities to the search mission.

IANS