World News

Oil Slicks Spotted in Search for Missing Malaysia Airliner

Vietnamese rescue planes searching for a missing Malaysia Airlines jet have spotted two large oil slicks in the area where the aircraft vanished Saturday.

The Vietnamese government said it is sending rescue boats to the two slicks spotted off the southern tip of the country. The slicks -- each about 15 kilometers long -- are the first potential traces found since the Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared early Saturday with 239 passengers and crew on board.

Ships and aircraft from Malaysia, Vietnam, China and the Philippines have concentrated their search in an area about 240 kilometers off the coast of Vietnam's southwestern Tho Chu island. Vietnamese authorities say that is where they last detected a signal from the Boeing 777-200.

Malaysia Airlines says contact was lost with Flight MH370 about an hour after it took off from the Malaysian capital.



At a news conference Saturday, Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmed Jauhari Yahya said the airline is working with search and rescue teams to locate the aircraft.

The company's Facebook page said the passengers are from 14 nations, including 152 Chinese and 38 Malaysians. A senior U.S. State Department official says three Americans were on board the flight.

China's official Xinhua news agency says contact with the plane was lost in Vietnamese airspace. It says the plane never entered China's air traffic control area. Vietnamese officials say the flight disappeared about a minute short of entering Vietnamese airspace.

The most recent accident involving a Boeing 777 was the Asiana Airlines crash at San Francisco International Airport in July, 2013, in which three people died. Pilot error is suspected in that incident.

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