Philippine ships, aircraft search for missing Malaysian plane


Posted at Mar 10 2014 09:13 PM | Updated as of Mar 11 2014 05:13 AM

MANILA - The Philippines continued its search operations for the missing Malaysian plane in the South China Sea, a military spokesperson said on Monday.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished after climbing to a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing in the early hours of Saturday (March 8). Search teams have not been able to make any confirmed discovery of wreckage in seas beneath the plane's flight path almost three days after it took off.

Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Ramon Zagala said they have sent a team to search for the missing plane.

"Out of solidarity, we dispatched three naval vessels and two aircraft to help in the search. We are in our third day of search and we are doing our best in order to find the missing aircraft," he said.

The Philippine military has been combing the South China Sea west of the Philippines in coordination with the Malaysian government, but so far no traces of the plane have been found, Zagala said.

"It is believed that there is a possibility that from Kuala Lumpur, as upon takeoff, it has veered into our side of the South China Sea, so this is very far from the Philippines, although we have the necessary aircraft that can fly towards that direction," he said.

Zagala said they have additional resources ready to provide humanitarian aid.

"We have other assets on standby should the airliner be found, and that can easily be focused into the area. What's important right now is really the search," he said.

The Philippines is among the countries taking part in an international effort to locate the missing aircraft, which was carrying 239 passengers onboard.

The airline has said 14 nationalities were among the passengers, including at least 152 Chinese, 38 Malaysians, seven Indonesians, six Australians, five Indians, four French and three Americans.