Oil slick in South China Sea likely to be Malaysia Airlines plane crash site
Earlier in the day, a Vietnamese rescue plane detected what looked like an oil slick, purportedly caused by a fuel leak from the plane. In the meantime, the search operation has been suspended until morning, Malaysian Airlines, which owns the plane, told the media.
The plane disappeared from radars about two hours after the take off from the Malaysian capital at 02:40 local time, when the plane was over the South China Sea some 120 nautical miles from the city of Kota Bharu.
According to the airline, there were 227 passengers and 12 crewmembers aboard the plane. The passengers were citizens of 14 countries. One was from Russia.
A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew went missing over the South China Sea on Saturday, presumed crashed, as ships from countries closest to its flight path scoured a large search area for any wreckage.
Vietnamese state media, quoting a senior naval official, had reported that the Boeing 777-200ER flight fromKuala Lumpur to Beijing had crashed off south Vietnam, but Malaysia's transport minister later denied any crash scene had been identified.
"We are doing everything in our power to locate the plane. We are doing everything we can to ensure every possible angle has been addressed," Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein told reporters near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
The missing Malaysia Airlines 'Boeing 777-200' that went off the radar in the early hours of this Saturday local time is believed to have fallen into the sea somewhere between Malaysia and Vietnam, the Vietnamese information website Tuoi Tre reports with reference to a statement by Vietnam's Navy official spokesperson.
According to the statement, the airliner fell 153 miles (300 kilometres) off the coast of Vietnam's Tho Chu Island, located to the northwest of Cape Ca Mau.
Malaysia Airlines has thus far failed to confirm the news. According to earlier reports, Malaysia Airlines last contacted the airliner when it was over the South China Sea, approximately 220 kilometres from the coast.
The 'Boeing' with 227 passengers and 12 crewmembers, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, went off the radar at 2:40 a.m. local time on Saturday, or 10:40 p.m. Moscow time on Friday.
Malaysia Airlines confirmed early this Saturday that nationals of 14 countries, including one Russian and two Ukrainians, had been on board the missing airliner.
The Russian Embassy in Malaysia has confirmed that one Russian national was aboard the Malaysia Airlines 'Boeing' that went missing when en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in t he early hours of Saturday local time, the ITAR-TASS news agency reports with reference to the Embassy.
"The Russian Embassy is in close contact with the Malaysian authorities and Malaysian Airlines on the matter. So far, we’ve been unable to identify the Russian on board. Nor has anything been known about the other passengers and crew of flight MH370", the TASS interlocutor said.
China is helping locate a Malaysia Airlines aircraft carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew which has gone missing on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, Chinese state television said on one of its official microblogs. The airline said passengers on missing flight are of 13 different nationalities.
China has dispatched two maritime rescue ships to the South China Sea to help in rescue work for a missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft, state television reported.
The Boing-777-200 of the Malaysia Airlines, that left Kuala Lumpur for Beijing and disappeared from radar screens two hours later, carried passengers from 12 countries.
According to the Xinhua information agency, 153 of 227 passengers of the MH370 flight were Chinese. The other passengers were from Italy, France and Ukraine, there were also four US citizens and one Russian.
A missing Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew last had contact with air traffic controllers 120 nautical miles off the east coast of the Malaysian town of Kota Bharu, the airline said on Saturday.
Malaysian and Vietnamese authorities were working jointly on search operations in the area and the airline could not yet confirm the plane had crashed, Malaysia Airlines chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said in a statement read to a news conference.
A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 239 people bound for Beijing has lost contact with air traffic control after leaving Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur, the carrier said Friday.
The airline said in a statement that Flight MH370 disappeared Saturday at 2:40 am local time (1840 GMT Friday). The plane, a Boeing 777-200, left Kuala Lumpur just after midnight Saturday, and had been due to arrive in Beijing at 6:30 am local time (2230 GMT Friday).
"Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their search and rescue team to locate the aircraft," the carrier said.
Radar contact with a Malaysian Airlines aircraft that has gone missing on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing was lost in airspace controlled by Vietnam in the early hours of Saturday morning, China's Xinhua news agency said.
China's CCTV said 160 Chinese nationals were onboard the flight, according to microblogging website Weibo.
The aircraft did not enter airspace controlled by China and did not make contact with Chinese controllers, Xinhua added, in a report on one of its official microblogs.
Voice of Russia, Reuters, AFP,