KUALA LUMPUR - As a massive search for the missing flight MH370 centred in the Andaman and South China seas, the Pentagon has indicated that the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER may have crashed in the Indian Ocean.
ABC News quoted a senior Pentagon official as saying that missile destroyer USS Kidd was heading to the area and is expected to reach there within 24 hours.
"We have an indication the plane went down in the Indian Ocean," the senior official told the American news channel.
The official said there were indications that the plane continued to fly for four or five hours after disappearing from radar and that they believe it went into the water.
The US action came hours after Malaysian officials said they had extended their search into the Andaman Sea and had requested help from India in the search for the missing plane and its 239 passengers and crew.
Investigators also said yesterday that US officials gave them reasons to keep searching the waters west of Malaysia, far from the flight path of the Malaysia Airlines plane.
Indian Defence Ministry had also ordered the deployment of vessels and planes to scour the area around the Andaman and Nicobar islands in assisting the search operations.
An Indian navy official said that three ships and three aircraft were deployed.
"India has formally joined the search operations this afternoon for the missing Malaysian airliner by sending three ships," the official said in New Delhi, adding that India was coordinating with Malaysia's navy.
The Indian operation "is being conducted from the naval headquarters in New Delhi," the navy official said.
The Star attempted to contact senior officials in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing following the ABC news report.
However, no official confirmation was available.