Thais join search along east coast

Malaysian civil aviation officials have asked their Thai counterparts to conduct aerial searches for the missing Malaysian Airlines jet along the sea off the eastern coast of southern Thailand, caretaker Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt said on Sunday.

Mr Chadchart said the Thai Department of Civil Aviation had offered help with the search operation to its Malaysian counterpart Sunday morning. The agency was informed in the afternoon by the neighbour’s Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) that they now had enough aircraft tracing the Boeing 777 that went missing early Saturday and feared crashed into the sea.

However, the Malaysians asked Thai officials to support aerial searches for flight MH370, starting from the north of Malaysia’s northern Kelantan capital, Khota Bharu, and continue further up north along Thailand’s coastline. 

Mr Chadchart said the Malaysians also wanted to know the types and number of vessels Thailand had prepared to provide assistance for the search mission so that they could determine future plans. 

The department had set up a rescue coordination centre and had coordinated with the Royal Thai Air Force and the Navy to launch the operation as requested by the Malaysian authorities, he said.

Meanwhile, caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has spoken to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to express condolences over the incident and offered to send aircraft and ships to support the search, according to her secretary-general Suranand Vejjajiva. 

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