BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhua) -- An official with China's civil aviation authority on Monday urged Malaysia to intensify efforts in the search for an aircraft that lost contact early Saturday.
Xia Xinghua, vice director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, met managers of Malaysia Airlines, operator of the missing flight, and representatives from a Malaysian work group set up to deal with the incident.
The Malaysian government should reinforce their search efforts by stepping up the search and expanding its range, Xia said.
He added that the Malaysian side should ensure smooth and effective communication with China and properly console the family members of passengers on the missing flight.
The Malaysian sides should also give effective assistance to China's work group to Malaysia for investigation of the incident, according to Xia.
A Boeing 777-200 aircraft operated by Malaysia Airlines left Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 0:41 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday and was expected to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m.
Contact with the flight was lost along with its radar signal 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.