[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

China 'will not give up' on Malaysia MH370

Still no trace of missing aircraft, as newspaper report claims plane flew for hours after vanishing from radars.

Last updated: 13 Mar 2014 07:27
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

China will not give up the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight, MH370, "as long as there is a glimmer of hope", its premier has said.

Of the 239 passengers on the aircraft, which vanished without trace on Saturday, 153 were Chinese citizens.

Premier Li Keqiang told a news conference on Thursday: "Those people's families and friends are burning with anxiety. The Chinese government and the Chinese people are all deeply concerned about their safety. We are all eagerly awaiting news about the plane, even the slightest piece of good news."

China had eight ships taking part in the search efforts, with a ninth on its way, and had deployed 10 satellites, he said.

"We will not give up on any suspected clue that has been found," Li said, after the end of the annual session of the National People's Congress.

His remarks came as the Wall Street Journal reported that the aircraft remained airborne for hours after its disappearance from radars.

The US paper said that aviation investigators and national security officials believed the plane flew for a total of five hours based on data automatically downloaded and sent to the ground from the Boeing 777's engines, as part of a routine maintenance and monitoring programme.

False leads

The plane was heading east over the South China Sea when it disappeared, but authorities believe it may have turned back and headed into the upper reaches of the Malacca Strait or beyond.

The hunt for MH370 has been punctuated by false leads since it vanished hours after leaving the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early on Saturday.

Malaysia's civil aviation chief said no signs of the missing Malaysian aircraft MH370 had been found at a location where Chinese satellite images showed what was thought to be plane debris floating in the South China Sea.

Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said planes searched the location on Thursday. "There is nothing. We went there, there is nothing," he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

Vietnamese officials previously said the area had already been "searched thoroughly" in recent days.

Flight code retired

On Thursday Malaysia Airlines said it had retired the missing aircraft's flight code as a sign of respect to the passengers and crew on board.

MH370 was used for the Kuala Lumpur-Beijing route and MH371 for a return flight but, from Friday, Malaysia Airlines will instead use flight codes MH318 and MH319 for the same route.

425

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.