Oil slick seen during search for missing Malaysian plane

By Daniel S Levine,

The first sign that the Malaysia Airlines plane that went missing Friday may have crashed was found when an oil slick was spotted Saturday afternoon between Vietnam and Malaysia.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was supposed to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. local time. The airline confirmed that it lost contact with the pilots at 12:41 a.m.

Now, the New York Times is reporting that Lai Xuan Thanh, the director of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam, has confirmed that an oil slick, about 12 miles long, was spotted “in the search area, which is suspected of being a crashed Boeing aircraft - we have announced that information to Singapore and Malaysia and we continue the search.”

When the plane was last heard from, it was in a stable flight, with its last coordinates showing it was by the midpoint between Malaysia and Vietnam. Officials are currently focused on an area in the South China Sea.

Despite the announcement from Vietnamese officials, Malaysia Airlines said, “We have no information on the location of the aircraft,” reported the Telegraph. “We are currently working with international authorities on the search and rescue mission.”

There are three American citizens among the passengers and 153 Chinese. The Times noted that the remaining passengers include 38 Malaysians; seven Indonesians; six Australians; five Indians; four French; two each from Ukraine, New Zealand and Canada; and one each from Italy, Russia, Austria and the Netherlands.

The plane is a Boeing 777-200 and the manufacturer said that it is getting experts ready to advise the investigators.

image: Wikimedia Commons



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