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Search for missing Malaysian plane expands

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Efforts go far to east and west of original flight path

The international search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is being stretched even wider, with around 40 ships and 34 aircraft from different countries now looking far to both east and west of the plane’s original flight path.

To the west, the search has been extended to the Andaman Sea and the Malacca Strait due to the possibility that the aircraft could have turned back. But Malaysia air force chief Rodzali Daud has denied local media reports that the plane was tracked to the Malacca Strait by military radar.

To the east, Vietnam has scaled back its search efforts but sent a plane to investigate an eyewitness report of something burning in the sky east of Vietnam.

“We received an email from a New Zealander who works on one of the oil rigs off Vung Tau,” Doan Huu Gia of Vietnam’s air traffic control said. “He said he spotted a burning at that location, some 300 km southeast of Vung Tau.”

Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines said it was “shocked” by allegations made against First Officer Fariq Ab Hamid, the co-pilot on the missing flight, who allowed two passengers into the cockpit during a flight in 2011, a breach of airline rules.

The BBC reports of an “element of desperation creeping into this operation”. As previously reported, the plane went missing on Saturday with 239 people on board. No distress signal was sent.

BBC

[image courtesy oneworld]

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