Debris near Tho Chu Island not from MH370, says DCA

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Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) Director General Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman speaks at a news conference at a hotel near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang March 9, 2014.

SEPANG - The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) of Malaysia has denied that the debris found near Viet Nam's Tho Chu Island was from of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 airplane.

DCA director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said authorities have confirmed that the objects spotted floating in the sea about 100km south-southwest off the island did not match the body of the missing aircraft.

It was spotted by the Singapore search team. 

"In the meantime, we are still verifying if the oil slick matches the MAS Boeing 777-200 with relevant authorities," he said.

He added that the search radius has also been expanded from 20 nautical miles to 50 nautical miles.

"At present, we have 34 aircraft and 40 ships currently combing the search and rescue areas," he said.

Azharuddin said authorities did not rule out the possibility of the aircraft being hijacked, but asserted that the priority was to locate the plane.

The aircraft disappeared with 239 people on board, including 12 crewmembers, early Saturday morning while on its way to Beijing.

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