Malaysia says ‘mystified’ as no jet debris found

March 10, 2014 6:55 am
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Vietnamese Air Force officials look for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 during search operations over the southern seas off Vietnam on March 9, 2014/AFP
Vietnamese Air Force officials look for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 during search operations over the southern seas off Vietnam on March 9, 2014/AFP

, KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 10 – Malaysia said Monday there is still no trace of wreckage from a jet that vanished with 239 people on board, deepening the anguish of relatives two days after the “mystifying” disappearance.

A potential breakthrough emerged Sunday when an aircraft scouring waters off southern Vietnam part of an international search and rescue effort spotted two objects authorities said could be debris from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

But Malaysian authorities said there was no confirmation they came from the Boeing 777 which slipped off radar screens early on Saturday, an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing.

“Unfortunately ladies and gentleman, we have not found anything that appears to be objects from the aircraft, let alone the aircraft itself,” said Malaysia’s civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman.

“This unprecedented missing aircraft mystery it is mystifying and we are increasing our efforts to do what we have to do,” he told a press conference.

Malaysia has launched a terror probe after at least two of the passengers on board were found to have travelled on stolen passports.

But Azharuddin had few answers to the burning questions surrounding the plane’s fate. Asked whether it was possible the plane had been hijacked or disintegrated mid air, he said nothing could be ruled out.

“We are looking at every angle. We are looking at every aspect of what could have happened,” he said. “Again, we have to get concrete evidence, we have to find the aircraft.”

More than 150 Chinese are among the missing passengers and Beijing’s state media on Monday lashed out at Malaysia and its national carrier over their handling of the crisis.

“The Malaysian side cannot shirk its responsibilities,” the Global Times newspaper, which is close to the ruling Communist Party, wrote in a scathing editorial. “The initial response from Malaysia was not swift enough.”

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