Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered Saturday that emergency measures be taken to find a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 jet that went missing with more than 150 Chinese on board.
Flight MH370, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, lost contact with air traffic controllers earlier Saturday, raising fears over the fate of a total of 239 people on board, including 153 Chinese.
"All-out efforts must be made for any emergency (measures) necessary in the aftermath of the incident," Xi said, according to the Xinhua News Agency.
Xi didn't elaborate but Chinese officials said the leader called for close cooperation among concerned Chinese agencies to assist in the search and rescue operations, the news agency said.
According to Malaysian officials, the plane vanished from radar screen about two hours after takeoff. Search and rescue workers across Southeast Asia have scrambled to find the jet, they said.
China was sending eight ships and an aircraft to join the search operations, Xinhua said, adding that more than 13 hours after contact was lost, there was no information that could help locate the aircraft.
Earlier in the day, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters that the news "has made us all very worried."
"The news is very disturbing. We hope everyone on the plane is safe," he said. (Yonhap)