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Investigators chase 'every angle' on missing jet

10 March 2014, 18:30

Kuala Lumpur - Dozens of ships and aircraft have failed to find any piece of the missing Boeing 777 jet that vanished more than two days ago above waters south of Vietnam as investigators pursued "every angle" to explain its disappearance, including hijacking, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said on Monday.

Malaysian maritime officials found some oil slicks in the South China Sea and sent a sample to a lab to see if it came from the plane, the Department of Civil Aviation chief, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, told a news conference.

Hundreds of distraught relatives were gathered in a hotel in Beijing, waiting to be flown to Malaysia. Of the 227 passengers, two-thirds were Chinese. There were also 38 passengers and 12 crew members from Malaysia, and others from elsewhere in Asia, Europe and North America.

"We accept God's will. Whether he is found alive or dead, we surrender to Allah," said Selamat Omar, a Malaysian whose 29-year-old son Mohamad Khairul Amri Selamat was heading to Beijing for a business trip.

He said he was expecting a call from his son after the flight's scheduled arrival time at 06:30 on Saturday. Instead he got a call from the airline to say the plane was missing.

Vietnamese ships working throughout the night could not find a rectangular object spotted on Sunday afternoon that was thought to be one of the doors of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet.

"We have not found anything that appears to be objects from the aircraft," Azharuddin said, adding that the search operation has involved 34 aircraft and 40 ships covering a 50-nautical mile radius from the point the plane vanished from radar screens early on Saturday about one hour into a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

He said officials from the US Federal Aviation Administration and the US National Safety Transportation Board have arrived to help in the investigation.

- AP


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