Search for Malaysian Plane Expands to Burmese Airspace

A Vietnamese officer stands next to a TV screen showing a flight route during a news conference about their mission to find missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at Phu Quoc Airport in Phu Quoc Island, March 11, 2014. (Photo: Reuters)

RANGOON — The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has expanded to Burmese airspace, according to Burma’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).

Tin Naing Tun, director general of the department, said the DCA granted permission for Malaysian authorities to search over Burmese airspace for seven days, beginning Wednesday, for the Boeing 777 plane that went missing on Saturday while flying over Southeast Asia. He said a Burmese rescue committee had been formed to offer assistance but would not participate in the search without a request from Malaysia.

“A state-level rescue committee has been organized. In the event that the Malaysian government needs assistance from the Burma government, they will communicate and collaborate with each other. With approval from the committee and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we, the DCA, will help them within Burmese airspace,” he told The Irrawaddy on Thursday. He said the search in Burmese airspace would focus on areas around Kaw Thaung city in Tenasserim Division, near the Andaman Sea.

At least 10 countries have joined the effort to find Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, with dozens of ships and aircraft scouring the seas around Malaysia and south of Vietnam, near where the plane lost contact with air traffic controllers. The plane was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijng, with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board.

Earlier this week, Malaysian and Vietnamese aviation authorities focused on areas between Malaysia and south of Vietnam, where Chinese satellite images showed mysterious debris, but they failed to find any trace of the missing plane. A report by The Wall Street Journal on Thursday suggested that the plane may have continued flying for about four hours after making its last reported contact, meaning it could have traveled hundreds of miles farther than the area currently under consideration.

India has also joined the multinational search, according to local media reports on Thursday, which said New Delhi could provide satellite imagery and radar readings, as well as ships and maritime reconnaissance aircraft, following a request by Malaysian authorities earlier this week.

As the search continues, Burmese have joined others around the world in taking to social media to wait for updates and express concern. Facebook users in the country continue to post comments saying they are praying for passengers on board the plane.

A teenager in Rangoon on the social media site said that since Saturday she has continuously watched television broadcasts and read online media reports for the latest news.

“I’m sorry to hear that two young infants were on board,” she said.

4 Responses to Search for Malaysian Plane Expands to Burmese Airspace

  1. We all pray for the healthy and safe return of the passengers and plane. I notice a facebook posting at the early stage of this sorry event. It said Burma navy had joined the search and rescue international effort and sent the naval flotilla. I was half happy and half-dismay, a sort of mixed feeling. Happy because Burma as an ASEAN President position joined the civilized world and mainly happy for the missing passengers and family. Dismay because the fascist government simply did not have to heart to save the citizens of the Nargis Cyclone disaster, prevent the international rescuers coming into Burma, and now sending the navy to overseas rescue. But when I saw the carton picture of the Burmese navy, it showed the fishermen in their small boats with fishes in their vessels preparing for their next venture. OMG. Burmese Navy. Now they are saying that WE GOT THE TECHNOLOGY AND FACILITY FOR RESCUE EFFORT. BUT WE ARE WAITING THE GREEN LIGHT FROM MALAYSIAN AUTHORITY.
    Malaysian and Singapore knew about the poverty stricken state of Burma and heartless ghosts of Burmese military so that they will never seek help from Burma.

  2. As member of ASEAN, Myanmar regime must try to be “A friend in need is a friend indeed”. Many countries are handing helping hands without requested. I do not know Myanmar has enough resources to do the job. Myanmar regime better stays quietly if it has not much to offer other than allowing international groups which are working hard in searching the Malaysian Airplane. I am rather ashamed of my country and its regime.

  3. This plane could get over Burma and into the Northern MTNS past it because the plane:
    1. Got through radar back over Malaysia
    2. Is said now to have been flown by an experienced pilot who knows how to evade detction and fly at the correct altitude to evade it
    3. Got past Vietnamese radar
    4. Got past Indonesian radar
    Saying it didmt go North is premature

  4. I think everyone will believe that everything happening with a reason…if this plane missing without a reason what is it on the earth?Its been a long time spdc save their technology to overcome their citizen not to improve their habits…May be this time they wanna show off to the world what they have with a little smile

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