Vietnamese forces will expand their search for the missing Malaysian plane towards the east of the initially suspected area on March 11 with a hope to soon find any traces of the plane.

According to Lieut. Gen. Vo Van Tuan, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, on March 10, Vietnam sent two sea patrol aircraft from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City to stand ready for the search.

Tuan further said that on the day, DHC 6 seaplane detected an orange-coloured square object suspected of being a lifebuoy at a site 96 nautical miles southwest of Tho Chu Island in southern Kien Giang province. However, this object has not yet been accessed by 16:00.

He hailed the close coordination with Singapore and Malaysia , whose authorised agencies worked with Division 370 and Brigade 918 of the Vietnamese site on the search.

Vietnam has licensed two Chinese vessels and one US ship to participate in the operation, he revealed.

On the day, Air Brigade 918 of Division 370 based in Ho Chi Minh City also dispatched planes equipped with rescue means, observation equipment and lifebuoys from Tan Son Nhat International Airport to join the mission. After four hours of searching, no new finding was reported.

On board the search aircraft were many Vietnamese reporters and their colleagues from foreign news agencies such as NHK, BBC, Reuters, AP, and the China Central Television (CCTV).

Colonel Pham Truong Son, deputy head of Division 370, said that all of the detected objects are only the suspected and there is not any specific conclusion about them.

According to the National Committee for Search and Rescue, by the March 10 afternoon, Vietnam deployed eight aircraft and eight vessels for the search, which has been expanded to the north-east.

The Boeing 777-200 aircraft operated by Malaysia Airlines left Kuala Lumpur International Airport for Beijing at 00:41 a.m. on March 8, and lost contact at around 1:30 a.m. the same day.

The aircraft was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers.-VNA