India joins search for missing Malaysian jet

India joins search for missing Malaysian jet

India on Wednesday joined the growing international effort to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines’ aircraft after a request from Kuala Lumpur for help in the Andaman Sea.

The Indian Coast Guard deployed a Dornier aircraft east of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands after the Malaysian government decided to expand search operations, following five unsuccessful days of looking in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand.

The Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 had gone missing while flying over South China Sea shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing late at night last Friday. The 227 passengers onboard the Boeing 777-200 aircraft included five Indians.
The Indian Air Force and Navy might also join the search soon. “India and Malaysia are coordinating close on requirements of support for search and rescue operations for the MH 370,” said the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Syed Akbaruddin.

Sources said the Indian Coast Guard scoured the eastern fringes of India’s Exclusive Economic Zone off the Andaman and Nicobar Islands after Kuala Lumpur shared coordinates of some probable locations of where the plane went missing. India on Tuesday offered Malaysia all necessary assistance in the massive search and rescue operations.

“We appreciate the efforts of the Government of Malaysia to locate the missing aircraft and are ready to provide any help needed,” wrote President Pranab Mukherjee to his Malaysian counterpart, King Abdul Halim, on Tuesday.

Malaysia sought India’s help after a military radar traced an unidentified plane 320 km north-west of Penang off the country’s west coast. If it turns out to be the missing plane, then its last known location could be somewhere between Phuket in Thailand, Aceh province in Indonesia and Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India.

Reports from Kuala Lumpur quoted a Malaysian official as saying that an unidentified object was plotted on military radar that fateful day.

Malaysian Air Force Chief Rodzali Daud told reporters  that the signal was detected by the military radar.

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