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No sign of lost plane: airline

English.news.cn   2014-03-12 05:52:31

BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- There is still no trace of flight MH370 which vanished early on Saturday, 88 hours after its disappearance, said a spokesman for Malaysian Airlines in Beijing on Tuesday.

Rescue efforts are ongoing, covering eastern and western parts of peninsular Malaysia, but there is "no finding of the aircraft," said Ignatius Ong Ming Choy at a press conference in a hotel near Beijing Capital International Airport.

A total of 42 vessels and 35 aircraft from various countries have joined the search, and are fairly distributed between eastern and western sides of the peninsula.

Regarding contradictory news reports about the vanished aircraft, Ong urged media to follow official updates from the Malaysian government and Malaysia Airlines.

He said that the information about four passengers who did not check in was accurate, but news about five passengers who checked in but did not board is not.

When asked how passengers could board with stolen passports, Ong said no problems have been found with the airlines' checking procedures, as the passport information conforms to booking and the passport photo identifies the passenger.

On why Malaysia Airlines delayed more than six hours after contact with the plane was lost on Saturday before released the names of the missing, Ong said the information was passed to senior management and the company had immediately initiated emergency procedures.

During the time, they were working with authorities to try to track the aircraft as it had sufficient fuel for seven more hours of flight, he said.

Contact with the aircraft was lost at 1:20 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday as it was over the Ho Chi Minh City air traffic control area in Vietnam.

The flight was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, including more than 150 Chinese.

Twelve relatives of the affected families have gone to Kuala Lumpur airport and are staying in a hotel there. Personnel have been assigned to take care of them. Relatives will be updated regularly about the search, he said.

For other family relatives, Ong said two Malaysian embassy immigration officers had been invited to the hotel where families are staying, to speed up visa approval.

There is general dissatisfaction among families who have waited for days at another hotel near the Beijing Capital International Airport. They complain about a slow reaction and lack of updates from Malaysia Airlines.

In response to their frustrations, Ong apologized, but insisted the company has put every effort into support for the families and it takes time to review all family requests, coordinate and come up with the right information and best solutions.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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