Malaysia could call on Vietnam to help with the hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the former's waters, as traces of the Boeing 777 jetliner or signs of wreckage remain nowhere to be found after it disappeared last weekend, a Vietnamese rescue official said Thursday.
Malaysia has mentioned the possibility of asking for Vietnam’s help in sending forces to search for the plane in its waters, Vu The Chien, deputy chief of the secretariat of the National Committee for Search and Rescue, said after a phone call with Malaysian authorities.
When there is an official and formal request from Malaysian authorities, the National Committee for Search and Rescue will consult the Vietnamese government for a response, Chien added.
On Thursday morning, the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) received an official reply from Malaysian officials regarding Vietnam’s reports on the disappearance of flight MH370 on Saturday of last week, according to a CAAV executive.
Malaysia had not fully provided its newly collected information to Vietnam while Vietnam always publicized any new reports of found debris suspected to relate to the missing plane, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Transport Pham Quy Tieu, who manages Vietnam’s search and rescue mission, told local media on Wednesday.
Malaysia apologized for its late response and hailed Vietnam’s search efforts, which included assembling planes and ships to look for the missing plane over the past week.
On Thursday, Vietnam dispatched five planes and seven vessels for its sixth search day, combing the areas where Chinese satellites earlier reported three large floating objects suspected to be plane debris, but found nothing.
Searchers also went over the U Minh forest in Ca Mau, Vietnam’s southernmost province, but no signs of the doomed jet were spotted.
The search mission in Vietnamese waters was joined by three planes and three ships from China and Malaysia.
Deputy Defense Minister Senior Lieutenant General Do Ba Ty, Chief of General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army, was briefed by relevant agencies regarding the search operation during a meeting at the Ministry of Defense headquarters on Tuesday afternoon.
Vietnam is expected to send three planes and seven ships to continue the search today.
Malaysia hails Vietnam’s search effort
Many Malaysian journalists told a Tuoi Tre reporter in Sepang on Thursday that the Malaysian people appreciate Vietnam’s enthusiastic assistance in the hunt for missing flight MH370.
“We appreciate your country’s actions because Vietnam has no passenger onboard the doomed flight,” journalist and filmmaker Jules Rahman told the Tuoi Tre correspondent.
Malaysian Minister of Defense and acting Minister of Transport Seir H. Hussein also expressed his thanks to Vietnam, while the country’s search mission is also fully covered in Malaysian media.