Taiwan Coast Guard vessels to help look for missing plane
Central News Agency
2014-03-10 10:12 PM
Taipei, March 10 (CNA) Taiwan sent two Coast Guard vessels Monday to help look for a Malaysia Airlines aircraft that disappeared off the coast of Vietnam early Saturday, as the country's president urged the military and Coast Guard to join international search efforts. The 1,000-ton vessels, which sailed from the southern city of Kaohsiung, are expected to reach the search area more than 1,000 nautical miles away around midday Friday, said the Coast Guard Administration (CGA). The Coast Guard vessels, with nearly 60 people on board, are set to conduct a 10-day search mission, the CGA said, adding that they will work with search-and-rescue teams from other countries. President Ma Ying-jeou has closely followed news of the missing airliner and called on the Ministry of National Defense and the CGA to take part in the international mission to search for it, Presidential Office spokeswoman Garfie Li said. The Defense Ministry said it has sent a Chengkung-class frigate and a C-130 transport plane to waters between Malaysia and Vietnam to help look for the missing plane. The president also asked the Fisheries Agency to inform Taiwanese fishing vessels operating near the area where the aircraft disappeared to help with the search efforts. Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared from radar screens about an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing early Saturday. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the aircraft, which was carrying 227 passengers -- including Taiwanese national Chuang Hsiu-ling -- and a 12-member crew, as it was flying over the sea between Malaysia and Vietnam. As of Monday evening, no debris from the plane has been discovered, leaving perplexed investigators without any clues to determine what happened. (By Cheng Chi-feng, Lee Shu-hua and Elaine Hou)
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