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Thai navy suspends search for missing Malaysian jet

Saturday, 15 March 2014 - 7:10pm IST | Place: Bangkok | Agency: IANS

The Thai navy Saturday suspended its search over the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea for the Malaysian jet that went missing March 8, navy spokesman Karn Dee-ubon said.

The decision came after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's latest update on Saturday afternoon regarding the missing Boeing 777 plane flight MH370 with 239 passengers and crew aboard, Xinhua reported.

According to Najib, the authorities have uncovered new data on the possible flight path of MH370 that points to two new corridors, including a northern corridor stretching approximately from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand as well as a southern one stretching from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.

The navy's search operation kicked off Monday, involving two patrol planes and a patrol vessel attached with a helicopter, but found no trace of the flight, according to Karn.

But four patrol vessels are still on stand-by and they are ready to carry on with the search once the Malaysian government makes new requests for assistance, Karn said.

In addition, the Thai air force reportedly said Saturday that its radar system failed to detect the flight after the new information suggested that it could have flown over northern Thailand.

"Our most updated information in the radar system was in Hat Yai where the air force detected MH370 flying out of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. That was the first and last time we detected MH370," air force spokesman A.M. Monthon Sutchukorn was quoted by Bangkok Post as saying.

If a plane enters Thai airspace with no prior notification and authorisation, the air force will be alerted by air traffic controllers of Aeronautical Radio of Thailand, Monthon said.

The air force also has its own radar system to detect planes that enter Thailand with no permission requested, he added.


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