Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has directed that the search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH 370 must continue round the clock and the search should be expanded to the west.

At a working session in Hanoi on March 9, he requested more focus on suspected areas and widening the search to cover vast swathes of sea, especially to the west in the flying direction of the missing plane, trying not to miss out any spot.

At the same time, search-and-rescue forces should strengthen the search for signals, floating strange objects and oil slick and maintain close coordination with their peers from Malaysia, Singapore, US, China and the Philippines.

He asked the Ministries of Transport and National Defence to work with the People’s Committees of Phu Quoc district and southern Kien Giang province to have plans ready for rescue activities and investigation in case the jet falls down within Vietnam’s FIR (Flight Information Region).

As the possibility of terrorism is not ruled out, the Deputy PM directed the Ministry of Public Security to raise security warning level and coordinate with the Transport Ministry to assure the highest flight security in the country.

Deputy Transport Minister Pham Quy Tieu said right after being aware of the accident, the sector established a command for search and rescue to direct and coordinate the deployment of forces and all possible means to access the areas.

The Ministry of National Defence has so far deployed 9 planes and 11 vessels for the search.-VNA