Malaysia has launched a terror probe into the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines passenger plane which vanished from radars en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing while carrying 239 people on Saturday. Debris from the jet has reportedly been spotted.
The massive search operation for the Boeing 777, which has been ongoing for about two days, might have brought forth its first results, with possible debris from the aircraft reportedly found in the sea off the coast of south Vietnam.
“We received information from a Vietnamese plane saying that they found two broken objects, which seem like those of an aircraft, located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) to the south-west of Tho Chu Island,” an unnamed official from the National Committee for Search and Rescue told AFP. “As it is night they cannot fish them out for proper identification. They have located the position of the areas and flown back to the land.”
These objects are believed to be a piece of the jetliner’s tail and part of its inner door, The Wall Street Journal reported.
But, a US team involved in the search operation in the South China Sea refuted reports that the debris found belonged to the missing plane, Vietnam’s Tuoi Tre news reported.
According to the US embassy representative in Hanoi, Jacky Ly Thang, the American team carried out an investigation and concluded that the object found 100 kilometers southwest of the Vietnamese island of Tho Chu has no connection to the missing aircraft.
So far there has been no official confirmation from Malaysian authorities that the debris is connected to flight MH370, which lost touch with Subang Air Traffic Control around 02:40 local time on Saturday morning. The plane was carrying 227 passengers, including two infants, and 12 crew members.
Officials investigating the mysterious disappearance of the aircraft are considering the possibility of the airliner’s mid-air disintegration, a source involved in the investigations told Reuters.
“The fact that we are unable to find any debris so far appears to indicate that the aircraft is likely to have disintegrated at around 35,000 feet,” said the source on condition of anonymity. If the aircraft had plunged intact from such a height, breaking up only upon impact with the water, search teams would have expected to find a fairly concentrated pattern of debris, the source added.