The Boeing 777-200ER flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing had been missing for hours when a Vietnamese news website quoted Admiral Ngo Van Phat as saying that he had asked boats from an island off South Vietnam to rush to the crash site.

If the report is confirmed, it would mark US-built airliner’s deadliest crash since entering service 19 years ago.

Malaysia Airlines earlier in the day said that no distress signal had been given and cited early speculation that the plane may have landed in Nanming in southern China.

Flight MH370, operating a Boeing (BA.N) 777-200ER aircraft, last had contact with air traffic controllers 120 nautical miles off the east coast of Malaysian town of Kota Bharu, Malaysia Airlines chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said in a statement.

Yahya further said Malaysia and Vietnam were conducting a joint search and rescue operation. 


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