A search for debris in waters off southern Vietnam failed to turn up any clue to the missing Malaysian Airlines flight, a senior transport official said Tuesday, after reports from Hong Kong that a flight crew had spotted objects in the water.
Vietnam’s vice transport minister Pham Quy Tieu said at a press conference that vessels had been sent to scour the waters off the southern province of Vung Tau on Monday night after a Cathay Pacific crew said may have spotted debris.
“Last night, the naval vessels approached the area in Vung Tau where Hong Kong spotted suspected fragments of the plane. But we found nothing,” he said.
Pham said on Tuesday morning that vessels were now on their way to return to the waters near Vung Tau to continue the search. He said authorities would soon widen the search to the eastern and western parts of the country.
The Vietnamese authorities have also informed fishermen near Vung Tau to keep an eye on possible debris.
But Pham was not optimistic about finding any survivors.
“Up to this moment, I am sorry to say that there has been no hope for positive information about the ill-fated plane,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chinese businessmen in Vietnam are aiding efforts to help families desperate for any news of loved ones onboard Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.
The China Business Association’s Ho Chi Minh branch said that it could provide 132 translators and 72 cars that can carry a total of 510 people to help with 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 website.