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Malaysia seeks India’s assistance to trace missing aircraft

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Malaysia has sought assistance from India to trace its missing aircraft with 239 people aboard following an offer to this effect from President Pranab Mukherjee

india-malaysiaNew Delhi: Malaysia has sought assistance from India to trace its missing aircraft with 239 people aboard following an offer to this effect from President Pranab Mukherjee even as the government here initiated the process of appointing designated people to share information and take the matter forward.

“The President of India had written yesterday to Malaysian Head of State offering assistance. Following this they sought assistance. We are ready to help. We are coordinating details with Malay side,” the Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said.

He said government was appointing designated people to deal with the issue and also take forward the process of sharing information in this regard.

The Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 plane with 239 people on board, including five Indians vanished over the South China Sea on Friday one hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur.

Search and rescue operations for the aircraft which had been mobilized since early Saturday morning have failed to find the jetliner in the South China Sea and authorities have expanded the area of search into the Andaman Sea, Malaysian officials said in Kuala Lumpur.

India has a tri-services military command at Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Navy and air force carry out regular patrols in the area.

The Malaysian authorities have put the plane’s last known point of contact with air-traffic control off eastern Malaysia – roughly midway between Kota Bharu and the southern tip of Vietnam, flying at 35,000 feet.

The search for the missing plane entered the fifth day, as 34 planes, 40 ships and teams from ten countries are scouring the waters on the plane’s flight path and beyond to find it.

PTI

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