A Malaysia Airlines plane en route to China that went missing on Saturday morning with 239 people on board could have crashed in the waters between Vietnam and Malaysia, a senior navy official has said.
Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper quoted Rear Admiral Ngo Van Phat, political commissar of the Fifth Naval Region as saying that the ill-fated airplane may have crashed some 153 nautical miles (300 kilometers) from Tho Chu Island. The island is located 55 nautical miles (102 km) southwest of the famous resort island of Phu Quoc.
The waters is located between Vietnam and Malaysia.
Phat said Vietnamese officials are ready for a rescue mission once they receive orders from related agencies.
"There are no Vietnamese navy boats in that area at the moment, so we have to ask boats from Phu Quoc island to be prepared for rescue," Admiral Ngo Van Phat told Tuoi Tre.
According to Malaysia Airlines’ statement, air traffic controllers lost contact with the Boeing B777-200 aircraft (flight MH 370) more than two hours after it departed.
The plane departed Kuala Lumpur at 12:21 a.m. Saturday (1621 GMT Friday) and was scheduled for landing in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. (2230 GMT) the same day.
Chinese news agency Xinhua reported the plane’s radar contact was lost when it was in the Vietnamese airspace.
However, Lai Xuan Thanh, head of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam, told Thanh Nien that the plane was supposed to be present in Ho Chi Minh City’s flight information region (FIR) at 12:21 a.m. Saturday (1721 GMT Friday).
But, at the time Vietnam could not contact with the aircraft, he said.
The airplane was carrying 227 passengers with 14 nationalities and 12 crew members, including 152 Chinese nationals.
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