• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 5:30pm
Malaysia Airlines flight 370
Flight MH370

Chinese satellites deployed in search for missing Malaysia Airlines jet as Cathay crew 'spot debris'

Defence ministry will redeploy 10 satellites; crew on Cathay Pacific flight to Kuala Lumpur spot debris floating off southeast Vietnam

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 March, 2014, 11:55pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 March, 2014, 5:35pm


  • Mid-air disintegration: 29%
  • Hijacking: 24%
  • Bombing: 26%
  • Others: 21%
11 Mar 2014
  • Mid-air disintegration
  • Hijacking
  • Bombing
  • Others
Total number of votes recorded: 1,024

China's defence ministry will redeploy 10 satellites to join the hunt for the Malaysia Airlines jet that disappeared on Saturday with 239 people on board after three days of fruitless searching.

As the Malaysian authorities announced they were doubling the size of the search area, Hong Kong's Civil Aviation Department said it had received a report from the crew of a Cathay Pacific plane flying from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur at about 3pm that debris was spotted near Vung Tau, off southeast Vietnam.

The department said it had notified its counterparts in Vietnam, Malaysia and Hainan .

[Payment is not] compensation but a special condolence payment

But the location of the debris does not match the path expected to have been taken by Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which should have flown over Ho Chi Minh City. The location supplied to the Civil Aviation Department was more than 125 kilometres southeast of the original flight path.

The satellite control centre in Xian will relieve the satellites of other tasks to step up weather monitoring, communication and search operations in the area where the plane disappeared, the ministry said.

Beijing said it would expand the search and called for Malaysia to strengthen its efforts. This followed several false leads from the sighting of debris and oil slicks thought to have come from the plane, which vanished en route to Beijing.

Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, head of Malaysia's Civil Aviation Authority, said the size of the search area would be doubled to 100 nautical miles around the spot where the jet disappeared.

Three Chinese civilian ships and the frigate Mianyang arrived yesterday and three more ships are on the way to the area where the plane lost contact.

Watch: Missing Chinese passengers' families scramble for passports, visas

Meanwhile, Thai police and Interpol questioned the proprietors of a travel agency in the resort town of Pattaya that sold one-way tickets to two men who travelled on flight MH370 using stolen passports. Malaysia's police chief was quoted by local media as saying that one of the men had been identified.

Rahman said they were of "non-Asian" appearance. Asked by a reporter what they looked like "roughly", he said: "Do you know of a footballer by the name of [Mario] Balotelli? He is an Italian. Do you know how he looks like?" A reporter then asked, "Is he black?" and the aviation chief replied, "Yes."

The Thai travel agent who arranged the tickets for the two passengers using the stolen passports said she had booked them on the flight via Beijing because they were the cheapest tickets, the Financial Times reported.

The agent said an Iranian business contact she knew only as "Mr Ali" had asked her to book tickets for the men on March 1.

She had initially booked them on other airlines but those reservations expired and on March 6, Ali had asked her to book them again. She told the newspaper she did not think Ali, who booked tickets with her regularly, was linked to terrorism.

In Beijing, hundreds of distraught relatives waited anxiously for news. About 200 relatives of passengers criticised the lack of help from the Chinese and Malaysian governments.

Malaysia Airlines said it was giving 31,000 yuan (HK$39,000) to relatives of each passenger, "not as compensation, but a special condolence payment".

In Vietnam, Deputy Transport Minister Pham Quy Tieu said debris spotted by the Singaporean authorities earlier were not from the missing plane. Rescue helicopters and ships had rushed to investigate a yellow object, but it turned out to be moss-covered floating rubbish.

Li Jiaxiang , China's minister of Civil Aviation Administration, would not comment whether they suspected an earlier terror warning to Beijing was related to the missing plane.

Taiwan's spy chief confirmed yesterday that the island had received a warning of possible terrorist attacks on the mainland as the annual parliamentary session is held in Beijing.

National Security Bureau head Tsai De-sheng told a legislative committee that the bureau passed on a warning of planned attacks against Beijing airport and the subway system to mainland authorities on March 4. He did not think the intelligence was relevant to the missing plane.


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This article is now closed to comments

How have they handled it badly?? They have offered the families in China 40k and a flight to Kuala Lumpur... what else can they do? they haven't found anything and don't know what happened. People need to be patient and understanding of the difficulties involved.
I don't quite understand the negative complaints from the Chinese media to be honest.
If this had happened in China, would it have been handled differently do you think?
As for Malaysia being "not developed" nor "sophisticated" because of a plane disappearance is prejudiced nonsense.
Why don't they seem to be listening.. Cathay Pacific spotted something..go look!
Says a spokeslady for Malaysian Airlines, "crew has not been notified of this"...
It almost seems like squabbling between the asian countries..,.
meanwhile a jet is down somewhere...
Malaysia Airline did very bad in handling this incident. Obviously, it is not a developed and sophisticated country.
Ant Lee
Chinese propaganda machine is the only thing working for now. There is absolutely no substance in all these statements. It took CX pilot almost no effort (just naked eyes) while travelling in the most common standard route to KL to identify debris.
This is just more nonsense. I don't believe it as China only has 15 military Sats and the rest are telecoms and weather. How many of these can change orbit? Satellites that can make Orbital inclination changes, which is very high technology, costly and risky are usually imagery or radar type. Most are probably in geostationary orbit to monist the weather and they stay in one place. Intel gathering satellites would be dispersed all over the globe, but are usually confined to one region. So it would seem strange that they devote 65% of their military assets to look for a plane.....I think the normal MO is at work here....just say they did something that seems more than everybody else in hopes of winning more praise.
Why we have to wait till China deploys its satellites whose technology are ages behind that of US? The US having knowing all the facts of the incident through its SKYNET, why not just come forward to help the struggling seach team to save a few lives? Can Mr Snowden help us out on this?
The only thing being handled poorly is you making such a ridiculous comment.
Get off this comment area if you are not going to contribute anything useful.
If there was a mid air disintegration at 35 000 ft , pieces of the plane can be on the sea as far as 300- 400 km must search the whole area within 500 km at least.
I wonder how an incident like this could happen? We aren 't living in the 60' s or 70' s. We have modern and most advanced technology including super computers, satellite and above all one of the best surveillance systems in the space. I have gone through the passenger list and thinking of all those people who vanished. I pray we could reach some clue as soon as possible and find all of them safe and secure.
Sheila Smith
This information actually agrees with a witness account from a guy on an oil rig who identified and plane in flames south east of Ho Chi Min City (he had been sending emails since the day after the plane went missing).



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