Zee Media Bureau/Biplob Ghosal
Kuala Lumpur: A Malaysia Airlines (MAS) plane carrying 239 people, including five Indians, that went missing after losing contact with Subang Air Traffic Control crashed into the sea 153 miles off the coast of Vietnam`s Tho Chu island on Saturday.
Contrary to previous reports, Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that five Indian were also on the ill-fated plane.
"At the moment there are no Vietnamese navy boats in that area so we have to ask boats from Phu Quoc island to be prepared for rescue," Admiral Ngo Van Phat told the website of Tuoi Tre news.
Meanwhile, Singapore has come forward to help locate the missing plane. According to an AFP report Singapore`s Air Force said on its Facebook page that it has dispatched a C130 plane to help in the search operations.
The B777-200 aircraft departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41 am (1010 pm IST). It was expected to land in Beijing at 6:30 am. It lost touch with the ATC around 2:40 am (1210 am IST).
Flight MH370 was operated on a Boeing B777-200 aircraft and was carrying 239 passengers including 12 crew members. Two infants are also said to be on board.
No signal had been picked up from the plane, Pham Hien, director of a Vietnam maritime search and rescue coordination centre in Vung Tau, told Reuters by telephone.
China`s state-run Xinhua News Agency said the Flight MH370 lost contact and its radar signal as it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area in Vietnam.
The China Civil Aviation Administration (CCAA) has confirmed that over 150 of the passengers were Chinese nationals. "The news is very disturbing. We hope everyone on the plane is safe," said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Meanwhile, state-run broadcaster CCTV said that China has dispatched two ships in the South China sea to search for the missing plane.
The MAS issued a statement saying that it is currently working with the authorities who have activated their Search and Rescue team to locate the aircraft. The airlines staff is also keeping the next-of-kin of passengers and crew informed about the situation.
“We are still trying to locate the current location of the flight based on the last known position of the aircraft. We are working with the International search and rescue teams in trying to locate the aircraft. So far, we have not received any emergency signals or distress messages from MH370. We are working with authorities and assure that all sources are deployed to assist with the search and rescue mission,” the statement said.
The airline has issued a helpline number - +603 7884 1234.
Also Read: Vietnam mounts search for Malaysian airliner
The airline said that the passengers were of 14 different nationalities. Below is the list:
China/Taiwan – 152, Malaysia – 38, Indonesia – 7, Australia – 6, France – 3, United States of America – 3 pax plus 1 infant, New Zealand – 2, Ukraine – 2, Canada – 2, Russia – 1, Italy – 1, India – 5, Netherlands – 1, Austria - 1