|Follow us on:|
“As of now, the search and the rescue team has yet to determine the whereabouts of the MH370,” said the airline’s spokesman at a press conference in Beijing early Sunday.
153 Chinese passengers, 38 Malaysians, 5 Indians, 7 Indonesians, 6 Australians, 4 French, 3 Americans, 2 each from New Zealand, Ukraine and Canada and 1 each from Russia, Taiwan, Italy, Netherlands and Austria are on board.
China’s Central Military Commission is sending two warships of the Chinese navy, “Jinggangshan” and “Mianyang“.
The amphibious landing ship “Jinggangshan“, loaded with life-saving equipments, underwater detection facilities and supplies of oil, water and food, set out from Zhanjiang port of south China’s Guangdong Province at about 3:00 a.m. on Sunday for the search and rescue mission.
The vessel carries a 14-strong medical contingent and a underwater rescue team consisting of 10 divers.
Two helicopters as well as 52 marines, carrying assault boats and rubber dinghies, are also on board.
Another Chinese navy frigate “Mianyang” is expected to reach the area within 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the United States was reportedly investigating terrorism concerns over the missing plane as two people listed as passengers of the MH370 flight have not boarded the flight and their passports were reported stolen in Thailand.
US officials told NBC News that they were “aware of the reporting on the two stolen passports” and have found no clear link to terrorism, but they were checking into passenger manifests and going back through intelligence.
A senior US official was quoted as saying that “we have not determined a nexus to terrorism yet, although it’s still very early, and that’s by no means definitive.”
Vietnam has also deployed aircraft and ships to search the waters off its coast. Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense says helicopters and marine patrol vessels will be called in as soon as the plane is located.
Singapore’s air force has dispatched a C130 Hercules aircraft in the hope of locating debris from the missing plane.
The public information office chief of the Philippine military says the country’s armed forces has mobilized its navy and sent a surveillance plane to search areas in the South China Sea and the sealanes near the western Philippine province of Palawan.