Wed | Dec 8, 2021

China-bound Malaysian jet vanishes, 239 aboard

Published:Saturday | March 8, 2014 | 8:50 AM

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP):

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 carrying 239 people lost contact over the South China Sea early this morning on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Vietnamese air force planes spotted two large oil slicks in the area where the plane vanished, the first sign that the aircraft carrying 239 people on board had crashed.

The air force planes were part of a multinational search operation launched after Flight MH370 fell off radar screens less than an hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday morning.

A Vietnamese government statement said the slicks were spotted late today off the southern tip of Vietnam and were each between 10 kilometers (6 miles) and 15 kilometers (9 miles) long.

There was no confirmation that the slicks were related to the missing plane, but the statement said they were consistent with the kinds that would be produced by the two fuel tanks of a crashed jetliner.

Two-thirds of the missing plane's passengers were from China, while others were from elsewhere in Asia, North America and Europe.

Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said there was no indication that the pilots had sent a distress signal, suggesting that whatever happened to the plane occurred quickly and possibly catastrophically.


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