Taiwan sends second aircraft to aid in search for flight MH370

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taiwan's military yesterday morning dispatched another C-130 transport plane to waters between Malaysia and Vietnam to help look for a Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared off the coast of Vietnam early Saturday.

The military aircraft took off at around 7 a.m. to join the search and rescue mission, Major General Mei Chia-shu (梅家樹) of the Ministry of National Defence's (MND) Joint Warfare Planning Department, told at a MND news briefing yesterday.

Another C-130 transport plane that the MND previously dispatched to join the search mission on late Monday returned to Taiwan later in the same day after it failed to locate any sign of missing flight MH370, he noted.

Mei added that another two Coast Guard vessels and a Navy frigate that Taiwan dispatched on Monday afternoon are scheduled to arrive in the waters where the plane disappeared on March 14 to join the 11 other countries engaged in the search operation.

Meanwhile, Mei said the search and rescue mission is being coordinated by Malaysia's rescue centre. The R.O.C. forces have no plan to work with or establish contact with their Chinese counterparts during the mission, he said.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared from radar screens about an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing early Saturday.

Air traffic controllers lost contact with the aircraft, which was carrying 227 passengers - including Taiwanese national Chuang Hsiu-ling - and a 12-member crew, as it was flying over the sea between Malaysia and Vietnam.