Search for missing Malaysian jet involves 8 countries
The search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which went missing on Saturday with 239 people on board, has brought together nearly 100 vessels and aircraft from eight countries in Asia and the Pacific.
The assistance poured in after Malaysia sought help in locating the Boeing 777-200 that disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Kuala Lumpur has deployed 18 aircraft and 27 ships to lead the search and rescue mission in seas between Malaysia and Vietnam, where the jet last made contact.
The countries that are helping in the search are Vietnam, China, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Indonesia, Philippines and the U.S.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vietnam has dispatched two planes and seven ships to help with the search.
Also the National Committee for Search and Rescue said another five planes and four ships were on standby for search activities.
China has also deployed four search and rescue vessels and two warships to help in the mission.
One of the warships, an amphibious landing vessel, has two helicopters on board, a 14-member medical team and a rescue team of 10 divers.
More than 150 of the passengers on the missing plane are Chinese nationals.
Reports also say that Singapore has sent two warships, a submarine support and rescue vessel, a Sikorsky naval helicopter and a C-130 aircraft to help in the search and rescue mission.
The submarine has divers on board who can help search for clues underwater, the Ministry of Defence said.
Thai Navy has dispatched a Super Lynx helicopter and a patrol ship to the Andaman Sea, west of Thailand, to help in the search.
It has also put two other ships on standby in the Gulf of Thailand, awaiting a request for assistance from Malaysia.
Australia says it has dispatched two AP-3C Orion long-range aircraft to boost the search in the South China Sea. Six Australians were among the missing plane’s passengers.
The Philippines has also dispatched a Fokker F-27 and an Islander plane and two patrol ships.
It has also placed on alert a Hamilton-class cutter vessel and a C-130 plane to join in the mission, if needed.
Indonesia on its part has dispatched a corvette, four rapid patrol vessels and a maritime surveillance plane to join the search for the missing jetliner after Malaysia requested assistance to scour the waters around Penang Island in the Malacca Strait.
The U.S. Navy has dispatched two ships, the USS Pinckney and the USNS John Ericsson and a P-3C Orion aircraft from the Kadena Air base in Okinawa, Japan.
The USS Pinckney, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, carries two MH-60R helicopters which can be equipped for search and rescue missions
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