No sign of plane crash: Malaysian minister

Kuala Lumpur, March 8 :

Malaysian Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein said here Saturday that no signs had been found that a Malaysia Airlines flight, carrying 239 passengers and crew, had crashed.


He said no sign of any plane wreckage was found and denied earlier media reports that the plane had crashed south of an island off Vietnam, Xinhua reported.

“We are doing everything in our power to locate the plane, and doing everything we can to ensure every possible angle has been addressed,” Hishamuddin told reporters near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

“We are looking for accurate information from the Malaysian military. They are waiting for information from the Vietnamese side.”

Earlier, Vietnamese media had cited Rear Admiral Ngo Van Phat, political commissar of the Fifth Naval Region of Vietnam, as confirming the crash.

The flight had lost contact with ground control when flying over the Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area in Vietnam, authorities said.

Meanwhile, according to the latest statement from Malaysia Airlines, the company is working with international authorities on the search and rescue mission of its flight MH370.

“Our team is currently calling family members of passengers to keep them updated on the situation and our focus now is to work with the emergency responders and the authorities. We are sending a MH team to support the families of passengers at Beijing. The airline will continue to publish regular updates on the situation,” it stated.

Flight MH370, operating a Boeing B777-200 aircraft, departed Kuala Lumpur at 12:41 a.m. Saturday and was expected to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. the same day.

The flight was piloted by Captain Zahaire Ahmad Shah, a Malaysian aged 53. He has a total of 18,365 flying hours to his credit and had joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981.

Fariq Ab. Hamid, 27, also a Malaysian, served as the first officer of the flight. He has logged 2,763 flying hours, the airline said.


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