Vietnam Spots Possible Debris from Malaysia Plane

Vietnamese searchers have spotted possible aircraft debris after combing the sea for nearly 48 hours in the hunt for a Malaysian passenger jet that vanished with 239 people aboard.

Officials say the Vietnamese searchers in a low-flying plane Sunday spotted what appeared to be a door from the missing airliner. It was seen in waters 90 km south of Tho Chu Island, off Vietnam's southwestern coast.

Earlier Sunday, officials investigating the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 said radar images show the missing jet may have inexplicably turned back before vanishing.

Malaysia's air force chief gave no other details on which direction the Boeing 777 was flying or how far it veered off course between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing before disappearing early Saturday.

Malaysias Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (center) speaks at a news conference at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang on March 9, 2014. /Reuters Malaysia's Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (center) speaks at a news conference at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang on March 9, 2014. /Reuters

Thai police said they were investigating a "passport ring," as details emerged of bookings for the flight made in Thailand with stolen European passports.

Two Europeans were listed on the passenger manifest of the flight, but neither boarded the plane.

Both had their passports stolen in Thailand during the past two years. Malaysia has launched a terror probe investigating the suspect passengers and the United States has sent in the FBI to assist.

Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said authorities are investigating two additional passengers who boarded the plane with suspicious papers.

Interpol said Sunday no country had checked the international police agency's database that held information about the stolen Austrian and Italian passports used to board the Malaysia Airlines flight.

The Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared from radar screens about an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur in good weather. Air traffic controllers say they never received a distress call before the jet disappeared.

VOA News / Mar. 10, 2014 07:47 KST