KUALA LUMPUR, March 12 (Xinhua) -- An unidentified object was plotted on military radar at 2:15 a.m. last Saturday in an area over the northern Malacca Strait, a Malaysian official said, as the multinational search operation to locate the missing plane further expanded on Wednesday.
Malaysian Air Force Chief Rodzali Daud told reporters here in a press conference that the signal was detected by the military radar at 2:15 a.m. on Saturday about 200 miles (320 km) northwest of Penang island.
"I am not saying it's flight MH370. We are still corroborating this. It was an unidentifiable plot," he said.
Malaysian authorities have earlier said the flight disappeared from civilian radar at around 1:20 a.m. last Saturday Beijing time.
Earlier on Wednesday, the air force chief denied report that military radar had tracked MH370 flying over the Strait of Malacca, although he did not rule out the possibility that the aircraft turned back before it vanished from radar screens.
Meanwhile, multinational search operation to locate the missing Malaysia Airlines flight has been expanded in waters off both sides of Malaysia, acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Bin Tun Hussein said.
The search areas have been expanded in the Strait of Malacca and South China Sea, he said.
Forty-two ships and 39 aircraft have been deployed so far in hunt for the Boeing 777-200 plane with the involvement of 12 countries, he added.
India, Japan and Brunei were the latest to join in a massive search mission.
When asked by Xinhua about reports that dead bodies were found near Penang, he said he could not verify this.
Flight MH370 carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew vanished early Saturday on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing after losing contact with air traffic control in waters between Malaysia and Vietnam. However, no trace of the plane have been found.
[Photos]Chinese Air Force search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight
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India begins working with Malaysia in searching missing plane
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BEIJING, March 9 (Xinhua) -- More than 40 hours have passed since the missing Malaysian plane carrying 239 people, including more than 150 Chinese, lost contact with air traffic controllers.
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China makes all-out effort to locate missing flight
BEIJING, March 9 (Xinhua) -- China is making an all-out effort to locate and rescue Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that has been missing since Saturday morning as the whole country prays for the safety of the passengers on board.
As of 7 p.m. Sunday, the flight has been out of touch for over 39 hours, and search and rescue work for the missing jet is under way. Full story
Chinese vessel expands coverage in search of plane
BEIJING, March 9 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese coast guard vessel in search of a missing 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, "China Coast Guard 3411," 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. Full story
No significant weather change over Malaysian waters when plane goes missing
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Singaporean vessels searching for MH370 find suspicious floating objects: Vietnamese official media
PHU QUOC ISLAND, Vietnam, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Singaporean vessels searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines passenger plane have found some suspicious floating objects, Vietnamese official media outlets reported Sunday.
The objects, located about 100 km southwest of Tho Chu Island at 14:45 local time, were suspected to come from the Boeing 777 aircraft, reported the Tuoi Tre and Thanh Nien dailies in their online editions. Full story
Missing Malaysian plane not spotted yet: PH military
MANILA, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Initial search by the Philippine military for the Malaysian aircraft that went missing Saturday morning had been unsuccessful by Sunday afternoon, Philippine military said later that day.
In a phone interview, Lieutenant General Roy Deveraturda, chief of the Western Command (Wescom) of the country's armed forces, said they have completed three sorties of aerial reconnaissance flights since the plane was reported missing. Full story
Chinese rescuers on way to salvage mission
SANYA, March 9 (Xinhua) -- An emergency response team assembled by the Ministry of Transport (MOT) set out early Sunday from south China's Sanya Port in Hainan Province to the sea area where it is thought the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 might have crashed.
Rescue vessel "South China Sea Rescue 101" is carrying 12 divers and salvagers, and will join another rescue vessel, "South China Sea Rescue 115," at the rescue site. Full story