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Search for Malaysia plane widened towards north-west

Update: March, 10/2014 - 12:21
Viet Nam's seaplane DHC6 VNT 777 prepares to depart from Phu Quoc International Airport. — Photo Duc Dong

HCM CITY — Vietnamese forces are widening their search for the missing Malaysian plane towards the north-west of the initially suspected area, said the Office of the National Committee for Search and Rescue on March 10.

Malaysia will carry out the search in the area to the south of Ho Chi Minh City-based flight information region while Singapore will do its job in the waters between Vietnam and Malaysia.

A total of 23 planes and 39 vessels from Vietnam, Malaysia, China, US, the Philippines and Singapore are expected to join the search efforts.

As of 11pm on March 9, Vietnam dispatched 7 airplanes and 8 vessels of various kinds to the scene.

Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Duc Tai of Air Force's Regiment 917, who was on duty at Ca Mau Airport on March 10 morning said a helicopter had flown Deputy Minister of Transport Pham Quy Tieu to the location.

Two planes are conducting search at the site while another is helping with information. On early March 10, a naval seaplane also departed from Phu Quoc Island to this area.

The weather in the past two days was favourable for search activities, with wind speed at 15-20 km per hour and visibility at between 7-10km.

The following are some major developments on March 9, the second day of the search for the Malaysian jetliner which went mission on the way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.

At 8:50am, Vietnam's search plane discovered an oil slick measuring 10x80km in the north-south direction, some 80km from the location initially believed to be where the plane went missing.

Later at 14:43pm, Singapore's aircraft sighted a floating strange object. A Vietnamese ship arrived at the scene for investigation but no result is yet made unavailable.

Then at 18:15pm, Vietnam's seaplane DHC6 detected a while rectangular object with a round hole in the middle. A ship coded KN 774 was on the way to the site to verify the discovery.

At the request of the Chinese and US sides, Vietnam has allowed three Chinese vessels and one US ship to enter its waters to join in the search.— VNA/VNS

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