Vietnam closely works with Malaysia, Singapore in search for missing Malaysian plane: officials

2014-03-09 10:32:30 GMT2014-03-09 18:32:30(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

HANOI, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam has made all-out efforts in close coordination with Malaysia and Singapore to search for the Malaysia Airlines plane that went missing en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur Saturday morning, said officials at a press conference in capital Hanoi on Sunday.

Lieutenant General Vo Van Tuan, deputy chief of General Staff of the People's Army Vietnam, said at the conference that upon receiving relevant information, Vietnam's Ministry of Defense has already sent 17 aircraft, 35 ships of all kinds of Vietnam's Air Force, Navy, Maritime Police and Border Guard to the areas where suspicious oil slicks were found.

In addition to low-flying aircraft AN 26, Vietnam's search and rescue team also has sent maritime patrol aircraft CASA 212, seaplane DHC6, marine research vessel equipped with multi-beam and multi-beam measuring 3-dimensional space scanner and a diving team of the country's navy.

Upon requests by the United States and China to send ships to the waters south of Phu Quoc Island for searching, Vietnam General Staff has carried out procedures for approving two Chinese naval ships to enter the area. Foreign press have been allowed to board Vietnamese ships to cover the search and rescue operation, state- run news agency VNA quoted Tuan as saying.

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Transportation Pham Quy Tieu said at the conference that a command post will be set up on Phu Quoc Island for timely steering, monitoring and directing the work.

Vietnam is ready to coordinate with search and rescue forces from six countries in the area to work out the optimal plan to hunt for the missing plane, said Tieu.

Colonel Mislanbin Anuar, Malaysian defense attache to Vietnam, and Colonel Liow Sin Hwa, Singaporean defense attache to Vietnam, were present at the press conference.

The whereabouts of the missing jetliner carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew are still unknown over 30 hours since it was last contacted.

As planned, a number of additional ships and aircraft sent by Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, China and the United States will join the search on Sunday afternoon and evening, according to VNA.

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