Philippines joins search for missing Malaysia Airlines plane
The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philipiines – The Philippines has joined the massive search of a Malaysia Airlines carrying 239 passengers and crew, declared missing since mid-day Saturday while on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, the Department of National Defense (DND) said in a press statement.
Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines to join in the search and rescue operations in the spirit of unity and humanitarianism, together with other neighboring countries.
Malaysia and the Philippines are both founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Malaysian Airlines flight No. MH730 was declared missing when it failed to land in Beijing on its scheduled time at 6:30 this morning.
An official statement from Malaysia earlier today that it lost contact with flight MH370, which took off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at 12:41 a.m. Saturday.
The plane was carrying 227 passengers, including two infants and 12 crew members.
Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista ordered the Western Command (WESCOM) based in Puerto Princesa City to deploy air and naval assets to conduct search and rescue operations in the southwestern area of Palawan and its surrounding waters in the West Philippine Sea on the assumption that the Malaysian aircraft may have inadvertently veered off its path and entered Philippine territory.
Reports from Kuala Lumpur said that the missing plane is a Boeing 777-200ER aircraft.
The report said the plane vanished after reaching 35,000 feet and air traffic controllers said the last contact with the plane was that it was120 nautical miles off the east coast of the Malaysian town of Kota Bharu, The airline said people from 14 nationalities were among the 227 passengers - at least 152 Chinese, 38 Malaysians, seven Indonesians, six Australians, five Indians, four French and three Americans. A Chinese infant and an American infant were also on board.