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Vietnamese forces expand search area

Update: March, 09/2014 - 16:16
Two Vietnamese helicopters are also deployed to the suspected area. — Photo Duy Khang
HCM CITY — Vietnam's search and rescue forces are enlarging their search area for the missing Malaysian passenger jet carrying 239 people on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, the Search and Rescue Centre reported on March 9.

At 16:10hr on March 8, a search plane of Vietnam sighted two oil slicks about 80 nautical miles to the south of Tho Chu Island off the coast of southern Kien Giang province of Vietnam, near where contact with the plane lost on March 8.

On the morning of March 9, two A56 planes were deployed to the suspected area with the first continuing its March 8 search course plus the southern area of Tho Chu island and the second plane scouring the site. The third plane is expected to reach the place by 17:00 the same day.

Reporters gather at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. — Photo Chi Giap/

At about 8:30hr on March 9, five Vietnamese vessels comprising two naval ships and three of the marine police have arrived at the site, according to Colonel Pham Truong Son, Vice Commander and Chief of the General Staff of Division 370 of the Air and Air Defence Force.

The Search and Rescue Centre sent information about the missing jet to the border guard's communication channel, requiring all fishing vessels to lend a helping hand to the search and rescue operation.

At present, the search and rescue operation at the suspected site is being involved by six countries, with Indonesia and Singapore also taking part and the US and China planning to deploy aircraft to comb the area.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished from radar early on March 8 somewhere at sea between Malaysia and Vietnam about an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, bound for Beijing. A total of 153 Chinese nationals were on board. — VNA/VNS

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