Suspected aircraft fragments found, says Vietnam ministry website

Suspected aircraft fragments found, says Vietnam ministry website

A Vietnamese search aircraft on Sunday located fragments floating in waters off southern Vietnam that are suspected to be from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the Wall Street Journal reported late today.

The report quoted the Vietnam ministry of information and communication's website, which said the fragments were believed to be a composite inner door and a piece of the Boeing 777-200ER's tail. The debris was located about 50 miles south-southwest of Tho Chu island.

Vietnamese officials had also released a photograph of one fragment floating in the water.

However, according to the Wall Street Journal, Malaysia Airlines said it had received no confirmation regarding the suspected debris.

MAS flight MH370 went missing early Saturday on a redeye flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

International search and rescue efforts have been operating for more than 40 hours scouring waters in the Gulf of Thailand and South China Sea. The search has also expanded to the Straits of Malacca as Malaysian authorities said a military radar showed trace of an "aircraft turn back" or ATB.

It was reported earlier on Sunday that a Singaporean aircraft had found a yellow floating object south-southwest of Thu Chu and dispatched ships toward the area.

The Vietnamese ministry's statement also said that the aircraft could not land near the objects to investigate them further because of darkening conditions but would continue the identification process on Monday morning.

The MAS Boeing 777-200 disappeared with 239 people on board, including 12 crew, early Saturday morning some 40 minutes after taking off from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

The Vietnamese navy had earlier reported two oil slicks near the island while the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has also spotted oil slicks 20 nautical miles (37km) away from the passenger jet's last known position.

A Chinese passenger in a plane flying over the area has also taken pictures of what is possibly debris near where flight MH370 lost contact with air traffic controllers.

The business paper also said a team of American aviation accident investigators, led by National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) experts, is en route to Asia to provide assistance regarding the missing jetliner.

China's navy said today that it had sent two warships to help with the search. Beijing had already sent at least one coast guard vessel and two search and rescue ships toward the area, according to state media. – March 9, 2014.