Vietnam spots oil slicks in hunt for missing jet

Published: .
Updated: .

Vietnamese air force planes have spotted two large oil slicks that authorities suspect are from a Malaysian jetliner that went missing early Saturday.

A Vietnamese government statement says the slicks were spotted off the southern tip of Vietnam. The slicks were each between 10 kilometers (6 miles) and 15 kilometers (9 miles) long.

The statement said the slicks were consistent with the kinds that would be left by fuel from a crashed jetliner.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 disappeared from radar screens with 239 people on board en route to Beijing.


Search and rescue teams are looking for a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet with 239 people aboard.
The airline says it lost contact with a plane. It took off from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
According to China's state news agency, the plane lost communication over Vietnam with a control department in Ho Chi Minh City at 1:20 a.m. Xinhua reported the radar signal for the Boeing 777-200 also was lost.
Malaysia Airlines says the plane was carrying 227 passengers, including two infants, and 12 crew members.

"We are working with authorities who have activated the search and rescue team to locate the aircraft. Our team is currently calling the next-of-kin of passengers and crews," said Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya. "Our focus now is to work with emergency responders and the authorities and mobilize its full support. And our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members."

China's state media say Vietnamese authorities have detected signals from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. The route would take it from Malaysia across to Vietnam and China.

The Xinhua News Agency, citing a local Vietnamese media report, says a Vietnamese search and rescue official reported that the signals have been detected from the plane from about 220 kilometers (120 miles) southwest of Vietnam's southernmost coastal province of Ca Mau.

At Beijing's airport, worried relatives and friends of passengers have been asked to gather to a hotel about a 30 minute drive from the airport to wait for further information. Airport authorities have provided shuttle bus service.

A news release from Malaysia Airlines says four Americans are on board, including an infant.
The 777 had not had a fatal crash in its 20 year history until the Asiana crash in San Francisco in July 2013.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)