Vietnam partially suspends search for missing jet
Updated: 2014-03-12 10:37
Military officer Duong Van Lanh works onboard a Vietnamese airforce AN-26 during a mission to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 off Tho Chu islands March 11, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
PHU QUOC ISLAND, Vietnam - Vietnam is suspending part of its search efforts for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 pending Malaysia's response to its enquiries, the frontline command announced Wednesday.
Speaking at a press conference, chief coordinator and Deputy Transport Minister Pham Quy Tieu said the Vietnamese side has asked twice for Malaysian confirmation and response over the widely circulated reports that it has found signals of the ill-fated flight and located the rear part of the Boeing 777 aircraft, but the Malaysian side has so far failed to respond.
Officials at the command told Xinhua that all search efforts that originate from Phu Quoc Island, including ships and aircraft, will suspend and that Phu Quoc Island-based search planes have been ordered to move to the southeastern port of Vung Tau.
Meanwhile, an official with the Hanoi-based National Committee for Search and Rescue told Xinhua that the army is continuing search activities as planned.
A source at the aviation search and rescue command post under Vietnam's Air Traffic Coordination Center also told Xinhua that a number of searching planes have taken off from an airport in Ho Chi Minh City.
Do Minh Tuan, deputy commander of the Vietnamese air force, said Tuesday that Vietnam has widened the scope of search to the further east and west of the Gulf of Thailand.
Flight MH370 suddenly vanished from radar early Saturday morning while carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Among the passengers 154 are Chinese.
Dozens of ships and planes from some 10 countries have been scouring the waters around the jetliner's last known location, but no solid clues have been found so far.