UPDATED: The closest thing to a clue in the search for a missing commercial jetliner are oil slicks in the Gulf of Thailand where all contact was lost with the flight, which was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
A Vietnamese search plane, part of a massive, multinational search effort, spotted the oil slicks that stretch between 6 and 9 miles, the Vietnam government’s official news agency reported. The traces of oil were found about 90 miles south of Tho Chu Island, the report said, in the same area where the flight disappeared from radar early Saturday morning.
The oil discovery only added to a growing list of questions about the fate of the plane carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members: When and where did the plane go, and who exactly was on board?
A passenger flight carrying 239 people en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing is missing, Malaysia Airlines said Saturday.
The airline said in a statement that Subang Air Traffic Control in Malaysia lost contact with Flight MH370 at 2:40 a.m.
The Boeing 777-200 departed Kuala Lumpur at 12:41 a.m. and was expected to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m., a 2,300-mile (3,700 kilometer) trip.
It was carrying 227 passengers, two of them infants, and 12 crew members, it said.
“Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their Search and Rescue team to locate the aircraft,” the statement said. The public can call +603 7884 1234 for further information.
“We deeply regret that we have lost all contacts” with the jet, said CEO Ahmad Juahari Yahya in a statement.
The airline said in a statement that its representatives were contacting the relatives of those aboard. “Focus of the airline is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support,” it said.