|(Flight MH370) Malaysia in a muddle over search after continuous official bungling
The Malaysian-led search for a missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 swung northwest towards the Andaman Sea, far from its intended flight path, exposing Malaysia to mounting criticism that its response was in disarray.
Vietnam today scaled back its efforts to locate the Beijing-bound flight MH370, carrying 239 passengers. It disappeared early Saturday.
The search led by Malaysia had had focused on the South China Sea where the jet last made contact on a journey between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing.
Contradictory and incomplete information from Malaysian authorities has infuriated relatives enduring an unbearable wait for news of loved ones.
“We are not going to leave any chance. We have to look at every possibility,'' civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman (Pictured) told AFP, confirming the expansion to the Andaman Sea, which lies north of Indonesia's Sumatra island.
He did not indicate whether the decision to expand the multi-nation hunt hundreds of kilometres to the northwest of the original search radius was based on any firm indications the plane might be at that location.
Authorities had earlier expanded the zone to the Malacca Strait off Malaysia's west coast after citing radar data they said indicated a “possibility'' the plane may have changed course from its intended flight path over the South China Sea.
But the shifting search areas have fuelled perceptions of official bungling.