BEIJING, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Two warships sent by the Chinese navy are en route to the suspected site of the missing Malaysian plane, as an ongoing search in the area by China's marine police had yielded no results so far.
Destroyer Haikou and amphibious landing ship Kunlunshan set off at about 4:00 p.m. Sunday from two southern ports with a 50-strong marine corps as well as assault boats and rubber dinghies aboard, according to a statement released late Sunday by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.
Meanwhile, two warships dispatched by the navy on early Sunday, Mianyang and Jinggangshan, are expected to reach the waters on Monday and Tuesday respectively, navy sources said.
With medical equipment and materials on board, two helicopters with the Nanhai Fleet joined Jinggangshan on its way for the search.
"Marine Police 3411" -- a Chinese marine police vessel in search of the Beijing-bound plane, had covered a 200-sq-km area as of 7:00 p.m. Sunday but no suspected target had been found, according to the country's marine police.
Around 1:30 p.m. Sunday, the vessel reached waters in the vicinity of the spot where the plane was believed to have been when it lost contact with ground control, according to the country's marine police bureau.
The vessel relies on strong searchlights and night vision equipment to search around the clock in a wider area, said the bureau, adding that the search will take into account expert analysis on the sea area's currents and wind speeds.
All crew members on board the vessel are working in six teams in charge of lookout, search, communication, medical treatment, motorboat rescue and logistic supplies, according to the marine police bureau.
Previously, the marine police vessel found eight ships in the nearby waters and has contacted two Malaysian ships among the eight. They said they found nothing related to the plane.
"Marine Police 3411" has also contacted another Chinese vessel, "Tai Shun Hai," a business ship of the China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company which has been hunting for the plane in the search area for about five hours but has detected no clues.
The state marine rescue center said it will better coordinate with its Malaysian counterpart to arrange more vessels to conduct search and rescue operations.
Contact with the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was lost along with its radar signal at 1:20 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday when it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area in Vietnam.
The flight was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers, including 154 Chinese.
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