News / Asia

8 Countries Join Search for Missing Malaysia Airliner

Malaysia's Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (C) speaks at a news conference at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang March 9, 2014.
Malaysia's Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (C) speaks at a news conference at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang March 9, 2014.
Marianne Brown
It’s day three of the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 - which vanished over waters between Vietnam and Malaysia early Saturday morning.

Eight countries joined the search for the plane early Saturday, but so far no positive sightings of the jetliner have been made. Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation said the eight nations have a combined 40 ships and 34 aircraft involved in the hunt.

Several sightings of suspicious objects were reported Saturday and Sunday, including what was believed to be a window or door of the plane. But Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, director general of Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation, said Monday that nothing has been verified.

"Unfortunately, ladies and gentlemen, we have not found anything that appears to be objects from the aircraft, let alone the aircraft. We will be intensifying our efforts to locate the missing aircraft," he told reporters.

He said some samples of an oil slick spotted in the area are being analyzed to see if they could have come from the aircraft. But  according to Azharuddin, the fate of the aircraft remains unknown.
 
"And as far as we are concerned we equally puzzled as well. The honorable prime minister used the word perplexing. We are equally puzzled as well and to be confirmed what really happened on that particular day, on this ill-fated aircraft, we need hard evidence, we need concrete evidence, we need parts of the aircraft," said Azharuddin.

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
The jetliner was carrying 239 people, more than 150 of whom were Chinese nationals. China has sent four search and rescue vessels and two warships to help in the mission.

Vietnam dispatched two planes and seven ships to search for the plane, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Monday. The National Committee for Search and Rescue said another five planes and four ships are on standby for search activities.
 
Greg Waldron, Asia managing editor of Flightglobal, a trade publication for the aviation sector, said he thought the coordination of search and rescue vessels was coming together as an international team effort. He said the challenge is spotting pieces of wreckage.

“The wreckage is very unlikely to show up on radar, and it is also very unlikely to show in infra red, because it has the same temperature as the surface," Waldron explained. "So in terms of finding pieces of the aircraft, if indeed these pieces of aircraft are floating around in the sea, you are really relying on people's eyeballs. And also the wreckage if there is wreckage has had days to spread. And this could make it more challenging to locate."

The United States sent the USS Pinckney, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, to the area on Sunday. Another vessel is on its way, according to Bleu Moore, spokesman from the 7th Fleet public affairs office.

"We’re also sending out the USNS Ericsson. It’s on its way there, it’s not in the same body of water but its on the way there," said Moore.

He said the biggest challenge is time: the more time passes, the less chance there is to save lives.

It could be a long wait before answers are found. When an Air France jetliner disappeared over the Atlantic on its way from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in 2009, it took investigators nearly two years to find and retrieve the aircraft’s black box data recorders.

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs