by Nguyen Thi Thuy Anh, Zhang Jianhua
HANOI, March 13 (Xinhua) -- No solid clue over the whereabouts of a missing Malaysian airplane has been found after six days of an intensive search, which involved a dozen of countries.
More than 80 ships and planes from Malaysia, China, Vietnam, and the United States among others have been scouring the waters off Vietnam and on both sides of the Malaysian peninsula to locate the missing plane since it lost contact with ground on March 8.
Flight MH370, carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers and heading from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, lost contact with air traffic control on Saturday when it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area.
On Thursday, Vietnam sent five aircraft and seven vessels to continue the search mission.
Among the 227 passengers aboard the ill-fated plane, 154 are Chinese. Beijing has launched an all-out search and rescue mission, with eight vessels scouring waters around MH370's last confirmed location and 10 satellites providing technical support in the space.
India, Japan and Brunei were the latest to join in the multinational search operation.
Two Indian ships from the Andaman Island Thursday were deployed to search for the missing airplane. Japan earlier on Wednesday decided to send four planes of its self-defense forces to help search for the plane.
The Thai navy's patrol aircraft also began on Thursday to search the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. The low-flying, turboprop-engined Dornier planes have joined the Thai navy's search mission that started on Monday.
One of the Dornier planes has joined the search mission by HTMS Pattani fast patrol boat and its helicopter in an extended maritime area around Malaysia's Langkawi and Perlis islands and north of Indonesia's Sumatra island, while the other has searched the lower part of the Gulf of Thailand for any flotsam which might possibly be related to the airliner.
A few other patrol boats of the Thai navy have remained on stand-by at Pang-nga and Songkla naval stations but not as yet joined the search effort.
Thai navy chief Adm. Narong Pipatanasai said the Malaysian authorities which had asked the Thai navy to help search the seas for the missing airliner had not given much information concerning the exact location or direction of the plane before it lost contact with air traffic control.
However, the Thai officer said it will continue to search the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand for the missing airliner probably until the Malaysian give up the search effort.
Meanwhile, Vu The Chien, deputy chief of Vietnam's National Committee for Search and Rescue also told Xinhua Thursday that Malaysia has asked Vietnam to assist searching in waters off the Malaysian coast.
Chien said Vietnam will continue its search efforts till the whereabouts of the missing plane are located.
"We think that in rescue, there is the so-called golden hour, meaning the importance of timely response to disaster. If we do our best as soon as possible, we will have high possibility of saving lives. If we are late for one or two minutes, things will be very different," the Vietnamese official told Xinhua.
Regarding the information that the missing jet may have continued flying for four hours after the last contact, the Malaysian authorities on Thursday said these reports "were inaccurate."
The last transmission from the aircraft was at 01:07 a.m. on Saturday, which indicated everything was normal, said Malaysian Minister of Defense and Acting Minister of Transport Hishammuddin Hussein on Thursday.
China's State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) said late Wednesday that a Chinese satellite found three floating objects in the South China Sea at 6.7 degrees north latitude and 105.63 degrees east longitude.
Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia on Thursday sent searching vehicles to hunt the suspected debris spotted by the Chinese satellites, but nothing has been found.
The China Maritime Search and Rescue Center said Thursday that Chinese search teams searched 23,282 square km of waters as of 6 p.m. (1000 GMT) Wednesday and will cover 19,768 square km on Thursday.
China's Civil Aviation Administration has proposed sending an expert team to help search for the missing plane. Malaysia said it would give priority to China's requirement, and explore a channel for communication between the aviation authorities of the two sides immediately.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang vowed Thursday that China will not give up its efforts in searching for the missing MH370. "We will not give up any suspected clue that is being found," Li told a news conference in Beijing.
Search for MH370 enters day 6, China pledges to grasp every glimmer of hope
BEIJING, March 13 (Xinhua) -- China has vowed not to give up its efforts in searching for a missing Malaysia Airlines flight with 154 Chinese aboard after six days of futile efforts.
Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday that China will keep searching for the missing flight "as long as there is a glimmer of hope".
Li made the remarks at a press conference shortly after the conclusion of China's annual legislative session. Full story
Malaysia denies report missing jet flew on, finds nothing at site of Chinese satellite images
KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Malaysian authorities on Thursday denied news reports that a Malaysian passenger jet may have continued flying for some time after last contact, saying these reports are "inaccurate."
"The last transmission from the aircraft was at 01:07 a.m., which indicated everything was normal," said Malaysian Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein at a press conference. " Rolls Royce and the Boeing team are here in Kuala Lumpur, and are working with us and the investigation team since Sunday. These issues have never been raised." Full story