Search for missing Malaysian flight continues as Chinese business group in Vietnam plan to join rescue

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 March, 2014, 7:42pm
UPDATED : Monday, 10 March, 2014, 7:42pm

The Vietnamese Navy was on Monday making a last-ditch effort to locate the Malaysian Airline flight MH370 that has already gone missing for three days.

Uniformed naval officers flew into the Phu Qhoc island in the southern part of Vietnam on Monday. An oil spill was earlier spotted near the area.

One officer limited himself in saying before he headed to a restricted airport that the navy was having a meeting at the airport convened for a rescue mission. Others were tight-lipped.

A South China Morning Post reporter visited a naval base on the island but the officers again refused to give details of the rescue mission.

"There is no update yet," one officer said.

Xinhua news agency quoted a Vietnamese navy commander as saying that a command centre would be set up at the airport in Phu Qhoc island.

Vietnamese media Nhan Dan reported on Monday that the country’s armed forces were widening the scope of their search to further northwest from their previously indicated area.

Malaysia is scouring the area to the south of the Ho Chi Minh City-based flight information region, while Singapore searches the waters between Vietnam and Malaysia.

Nhan Fan said a total of 23 planes and 39 vessels from Vietnam, Malaysia, China, the United States, the Philippines and Singapore are expected to join the search mission.

The Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 had been carrying 239 passengers bound for Beijing before it disappeared from air-traffic-control screens on Saturday.

Chinese businessmen in Vietnam are making an all-out effort to help the families desperate for news of their loved ones onboard the missing Malaysian Airline flight.

The China Business Association’s Ho Chi Minh branch said that it can provide 132 translators and 72 cars to help carry a total of 510 people to join the rescue mission.

“Everyone at the business association and all of our volunteers will offer any necessary help that the (Chinese) embassy has instructed,” the association said in a statement posted on its web site on Monday.