The missing Malaysia Airlines plane was first reported to be found in China, then Vietnam, on Saturday, but Malaysia transport minister emphasized in an afternoon press conference that no location has been confirmed nor wreckage located.
The Malaysia Digest was one of the main sources of the rumors that the plane made an emergency landing in Nanming in China, publishing a story that said that “unconfirmed reports of flight MH370 landed safely in Nanming.”
But Malaysia Airlines officials said that the plane didn’t land in China.
Later reports from Vietnamese media, including VN Express and Tuoi Tre, appear to have more credence, citing a Vietnamese Navy statement saying that the plane crashed into the sea about 153 nautical miles south of Tho Chu Island island, or about 120 nautical miles (140 miles; 225 kilometers) southwest of Vietnam’s southernmost Ca Mau province.
But Malaysia’s transport minister Seri Hishammuddin told reporters in a press conference that officials haven’t confirmed the plane’s location and that there is “no sign” of wreckage as of yet.
The plane went missing on Saturday morning Asia time. The plane took off just after midnight from Kuala Lumpur and was supposed to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. but air traffic control lost communication with it around 2:40 a.m.
Amid the flurry of reports, Chinese state run media outlet Global Times said that a signal from the plane was located by Vietnamese authorities near the Gulf of Thailand, but a Vietnamese official told Reuters that the report wasn’t true.
Malaysian Airlines Group Chief Executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahyain speaks during a press conference at a hotel in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, March 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
A staff member at the Malaysian Airlines’ office in Beijing’s International Airport reacts to journalists in Beijing, China, Saturday, March 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Malaysia Airlines said that it is searching for the plane, and will let people know when it has been found. It hasn’t confirmed the Vietnamese Navy’s statement.
The plane had 227 passengers from 13 different countries, including China and Australia.
The plane was a Boeing 777-200 aircraft. The model never in its 20 year history had a fatal crash until the Asiana crash in San Francisco in July 2013 that killed three and left dozens of others wounded.
This specific plane was 11.8 years old and had a clean safety record.
Story developing; check back for updates