Searches are continuing for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, which disappeared off radars an hour after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur.

The MH370 flight is believed to have crashed off the Vietnam coast, and Malaysia and Vietnam, along with several other countries, are conducting search-and-rescue operations on an area of the South China Sea, south of Vietnam.

The aircraft was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members. According to reports, it was cruising at an altitude of 35,000ft when it lost contact on Saturday 8 March.

"There were no reports of a distress signal or weather problems."

There were no reports of a distress signal or weather problems.

On Sunday 9 March, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam said one of the country’s navy planes had found an object in the sea, which is suspected to be a part of the missing Malaysia Airlines’ jet, but added that it could not be certain due to visibility.

Addressing a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said that the search area had been extended to include the west coast of Malaysia.

If confirmed, the crash would be the second serious incident for Boeing 777 in less than a year, following Asiana Airlines’ Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, which crash-landed in San Francisco, US, in July 2013.

While experts suggested a sudden catastrophic failure or explosion, Malaysia’s air force chief said radar tracking revealed that it may have strayed from its scheduled route before it disappeared.

Defence Technology