A Malaysia Airlines plane en route to China that went missing on Saturday morning with 239 people on board was found crashing off Vietnam’s southern island, a senior navy official has confirmed. Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper quoted Rear Admiral Ngo Van Phat, political commissar of the Fifth Naval Region as saying that they detected the ill-fated airplane some 153 nautical miles (300 kilometers) from Tho Chu Island in the Mekong Delta Province of Kien Giang. The sea water is located between Vietnam and Malaysia. Phat said Vietnamese officials are ready for a rescue mission once they receive orders from related agencies. According to Malaysia Airlines’ statement, air traffic controllers lost contact with the Boeing B777-200 aircraft (flight MH 370) more than two hours after it departed. The plane departed Kuala Lumpur at 12:21 a.m. Saturday (1621 GMT Friday) and was scheduled for landing in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. (2230 GMT) the same day. Chinese news agency Xinhua reported the plane’s radar contact was lost when it was in the Vietnamese airspace. However, Lai Xuan Thanh, head of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam, told Thanh Nien that the plane was supposed to be present in Ho Chi Minh City’s flight information region (FIR) at 12:21 a.m. Saturday (1721 GMT Friday). But, at the time Vietnam could not contact with the aircraft, he said. The airplane was carrying 227 passengers with 14 nationalities and 12 crew members, including 152 Chinese nationals.
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