KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Rescue operations in hunt for a missing Malaysian jet have continued overnight, but nothing was able to be located so far, a Malaysian civil aviation official said here Sunday morning.
Department of Civil Aviation Director General Azharuddin Abdul Rahman told a a press conference that they lost contact with the plane at 1:30 a.m. local time on Saturday. Earlier reports said the aircraft carrying 239 people lost contact with the ground at around 2:40 a.m. local time (1840 GMT).
Three aircraft have been dispatched to assist in the search operation, but so far there was no report of any sightings, he said.
"As also mentioned last night, we have expanded our area of operations, which includes the west side of Malaysian Peninsula," he said.
The official added that they were investigating the report that a Italian man whose name is on the passenger manifest had lost his passport.
According to Malaysia Airlines, 12 crew members and 227 passengers were on the flight, including 154 Chinese and 38 Malaysians.