MH370 crash: India ends Malaysia-based SAR missions

MH370 crash: India ends Malaysia-based SAR missions

SUBANG - An Indian Air Force C-130J Super Hercules left Malaysia at about 4.45pm on Friday, marking the end of India's Malaysia-based search operations for missing flight MH370.

It was one of two aircraft sent by the Indian Government on March 21 to help look for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight after it was confirmed missing in the South Indian Ocean.

The other, an Indian Navy P8-I Poseidon, is expected to depart tomorrow for Perth, Australia to join a multinational search force there.

Indian High Commissioner to Malaysia TS Tirumurti thanked Malaysia for its support, in particular the Royal Malaysian Air Force during the Indians' missions for MH370 here.

"I would like to convey the thanks and gratitude for all the assistance and cooperation which we have received from the Government of Malaysia," he said at the Subang Royal Malaysian Air Force base this afternoon.

He said India had been working with Malaysia to find MH370 since March 11, adding that the latter faced an unprecedented task in looking for the missing plane.

India's two planes took part in one 10-hour sortie covering a section of the South Indian Ocean on March 23.

The Indian C130J will land in Fort Blair, the Andaman Islands later today.

These aircraft were later grounded after receiving warnings of severe weather from tropical Gillian from Malaysia's Meteorological Department.

Tirumurthi said that the Poseidon was likely to be sent to the Pearce air base in Perth after its role was assessed by Australia, Malaysia and India, adding that this might happen "anytime soon".

Subang RMAF base commander Brig Gen Abdul Manaf Md Zaid thanked the Indian military for its help, adding that it would lead to a better friendship between the armed forces of both nations.

He hoped that the 36 Indian servicemen here would return to Malaysia one day and enjoy it as a holiday destination.

As the press conference was underway, those present received a report that a fellow C130J Super Hercules had crashed in Mahdya Pradesh, India.

Upon confirming this, some of them became emotional, and were moved to tears.

"Everyone in the Indian Air Force. They are colleagues," said an Indian military officer who declined to be named.

Aside from the Indians, only one foreign aircraft remains: a Chinese Y-8 awaiting further instructions from its Government.

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