'Oil slicks' could provide a clue to the fate of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

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Planes are searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, which disappeared from radars around an hour after take off on Saturday morning local time.

What appear to be large oil slicks can be seen in the sea below the search planes. The trails, between six and nine miles long, are suspected to be from the missing passenger jet, according to the Vietnam government’s official news agency.

Search operations by Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and China are being focussed in the waters between Malaysia and Vietnam.

Now presumed to have crashed, the plane was carrying a reported 227 passengers and 12 crew members.

There were no reports of bad weather, nor indication why the plane – a Boeing 777 – lost contact with air traffic control.

Officials seem resigned to accepting the worst outcome.

Malaysia Airlines has made a statement, saying their focus is on helping the families of those missing, while Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Tun Razak, offered his thoughts and prayers to the “bereaved families”.

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