Vietnam says oil slicks seen as it searches for Malaysia plane

HO CHI MINH CITY Sat Mar 8, 2014 8:20pm IST

A relative of a passenger of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 talks on a mobile phone as journalists attempt to interview her at a hotel in Beijing March 8, 2014. . REUTERS/Jason Lee

A relative of a passenger of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 talks on a mobile phone as journalists attempt to interview her at a hotel in Beijing March 8, 2014. .

Credit: Reuters/Jason Lee

Stocks

   

HO CHI MINH CITY (Reuters) - Vietnamese rescue planes have spotted large oil slicks and a column of smoke off its coastline, but it was not clear if they were connected to a missing Malaysia Airlines MASM.KL carrier, a transportation ministry official said on Saturday.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing (BA.N) 777-200ER plane carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew went missing off the Vietnamese coast early on Saturday as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and was presumed to have crashed.

"Vietnam rescue airplanes saw two oil spills and one smoke column in the area around 150 miles (250 km) west of Tho Chu island, but we can't confirm it's from that Malaysia plane," Pham Quy Tieu, vice minister of transportation, told Reuters by telephone.

"We sent two maritime boats and some military boats there to clarify, each boat with about 20 people. The oil spills are about 15km long. Those boats will be there in about three to four hours."

There were no reports of bad weather and no sign why the Malaysia Airlines plane would have vanished from radar screens about an hour after take-off.

A large number of planes and ships from several countries are scouring the area where the plane last made contact, about halfway between Malaysia and the southern tip of Vietnam.

(Reporting by Nguyen Phuong Linh; Writing by Jeremy Laurence; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Reuters Showcase

Killer Unmasked

Killer Unmasked

'Jihadi John' killer from Islamic State beheading videos unmasked as Londoner.  Read | Video 

Economic Survey

Economic Survey

India in "sweet spot" of lower deficits, more growth - Economic Survey.  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Ab Tak Chhappan 2" is a futile film: Shilpa Jamkhandikar  Full Article 

DLF Penalty

DLF Penalty

DLF says reviewing $8.4 million SEBI penalty.  Full Article 

Fresh Charges

Fresh Charges

Canadian woman accuses Bikram yoga founder of sexual assault.  Full Article 

Maid Abuse Case

Maid Abuse Case

Hong Kong woman jailed for six years for abusing Indonesian maid.  Full Article 

India's Growth Story

India's Growth Story

S&P raises India's GDP forecasts, says it's a bright spot in Asia.  Read 

Net Rules

Net Rules

Tougher Internet rules to hit cable, telecoms companies.  Full Article 

World Cup 2015

World Cup 2015

Full coverage of cricket world cup in Australia and New Zealand.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage