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Planes and ships from south-east Asian states have joined forces to search the South China Sea for a Malaysia Airlines jet, missing with 239 people on board. Flight MH370 vanished at 18:40 GMT Friday (02:40 local time Saturday) after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing, where it was expected at 22:30 GMT. The aerial search has been halted for the night but sea operations continue. No wreckage has been reported by the airline, but Vietnamese planes reported seeing oil slicks in the sea. The Vietnamese government said two slicks, about 15km (9 miles) long, were consistent with those that could be left by an airliner and had been detected off the coast of southern Vietnam. However, there is no confirmation the slicks relate to the missing plane. Separately, it has been reported that two passengers who were listed on the plane’s manifest – an Italian and an Austrian – were not actually on the flight but had had their passports stolen in the past two years in Thailand.

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