KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's transport minister said Saturday the government currently had "no information" or confirmation that a missing Malaysian airliner had crashed, but was urgently asking Vietnam for details.
Air traffic controllers in the region lost contact with the Malaysian Airlines plane, with 239 people aboard, early on Saturday, triggering a search in the South China Sea involving several nations.
Vietnam's government has said that the aircraft, which was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, was near its airspace when it lost contact.
A Vietnamese state media report later quoted a naval official saying the Boeing 777-200 had crashed off southern Vietnam.
Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said he has not been able to confirm that report with Vietnamese civil aviation authorities.
"But since that information came from the Vietnamese navy, I have asked our navy to contact their counterparts immediately," he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.
"At the moment we have no information of any wreckage at sea. I can confirm that we have not yet found the location of the plane."
Malaysia, Vietnam, China, and the Philippines have dispatched planes and aircraft to the South China Sea to search for the missing plane.
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