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Malaysia is working with US over reports that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may be in Indian Ocean

Published on Mar 14, 2014 3:40 PM
 
The engine of a Vietnamese Air Force plane is seen through a window as it returns from a search operation over Vietnam's southern sea for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on Friday, March 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia is working closely with the United States over reports that the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may have flown over the Indian Ocean, the government said on Friday.

However, it will not publicly release information until it is verified, the Ministry of Transport said in a statement.

The focus of search efforts has shifted from the South China Sea after the White House said "new information" indicated the plane may have gone down to the west in the Indian Ocean.

The statement said that US officials have been in Malaysia since last Sunday to help with the investigations into the missing jetliner.

It added that two oil slicks were found on March 13 in the South China Sea, 60 nautical miles south of the last point of contact with the plane.

The first slick was analysed and found to contain tiny traces of jet fuel, it said, adding that no debris was found in the vicinity. The first slick is not believed to be linked to the missing plane. The second slick, 3km in length, did not contain jet fuel, it said.

The Indian Air Force is participating in the multinational search operation for MH370 and is conducting search operations off the west coast of peninsular Malaysia, it said, adding that Vietnam is still participating in the search operation.

The US Navy on Thursday ordered a ship to the Indian Ocean to search for a missing Malaysian airliner amid reports the plane kept "pinging" a satellite after losing radar contact.

Regarding the presence of a 'bomoh' or shaman at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the statement said: "We would like to categorically state that neither the Government, nor any of its agencies, had any role or involvement in the shaman's presence at the airport."

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