Vietnam media: MAS flight crashed into the sea

Family members walking into the holding area at Level 5 in KLIA, March 8, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Family members walking into the holding area at Level 5 in KLIA, March 8, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 — The missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 carrying 239 people has crashed off the Tho Chu island in Vietnam, leading local daily Tuổi Trẻ reported today.

According to the report, the Vietnamese  High Command of Navy issued a statement to confirm that the Boeing B777-200 aircraft went down some 300km off the island located near Cape Ca Mau in Vietnam’s Kien Giang Province.

The report added, however, that there are no reports of any casualties as yet.

MAS has yet to confirm the reports.

At a press conference earlier this afternoon, MAS group chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said a search and rescue team is still trying to locate the missing aircraft.

He said the plane was last heard from when it was flying some 120 nautical miles off the coast of Kota Baru, near the South China Sea.

Jauhari also said no distress signal had been received as yet.

Earlier today, MAS confirmed that Subang Air Traffic Control lost contact with the Boeing B777-200 plane at 2.40am this morning, some two hours after the Beijing-bound aircraft departed from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 12.41am.

The plane was scheduled to arrive at Beijing at 6.30am local time.

According to Jauhari, there were a total of 14 nationalities onboard the plane and a total of 227 passengers, and 12 crew members.

This includes 153 Chinese nationals including one infant, 38 Malaysians, 12 Indonesians, seven Australians, three French nationals, four from the US including one infant, two from New Zealand, two Canadians, two Russians, one Italian, one Taiwanese, one from Netherlands and one Austrian.

Jauhari said the family members of those onboard the missing flight are being contacted.

A search and rescue mission has also been mounted, involving both Malaysian and Vietnamese officials.