KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 (Xinhua) -- The number of countries involved in search for the missing flight MH370 increased to 26 on Monday, according to a statement issued by Malaysian Ministry of Transport.
These countries are Malaysia, China, Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Turkmenistan, UAE, UK, U.S., Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
It added that Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent diplomatic notes to all countries along the northern and southern corridors the plane might fly to and to those which Malaysia is requesting assistance.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Saturday that based on the new data, the Malaysian authorities are trying to trace the missing jet in one of the two possible corridors -- a northern one from the border between Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, and a southern one stretching from Indonesia to southern Indian Ocean.
The notes set out the specific support and assistance required including radar and satellite information, land, sea and aerial search operations, search and rescue action plans for relevant countries, details of any information required from Malaysia.
According to the statement, three French officials have arrived here to share their expertise and knowledge based on the experience from the Air France Flight 447 which crashed in the Atlantic in 2009.
The statement also said Malaysian navy and air force will deploy their assets to the southern corridor.
According to the prime minister, the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was deliberately steered off course and communication was intentionally disabled, and the authorities have refocused their investigation into 12 crew and 227 passengers on board.
He also said the last contact between the plane and the satellite was at 8:11 a.m. Malaysian time on March 8, about seven hours and 31 minutes after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur.
Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said police had searched the homes of two pilots.