US to assist in Malaysia air crash investigation

A woman, which believe is relative and friend of passengers of the Malaysia Airlines, center, cover her face surrounded by medias as she and others arrive at a hotel in Beijing, China Saturday, March 8, 2014. A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 carrying 239 people lost contact over the South China Sea early Saturday morning on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, and international aviation authorities still hadn't located the jetliner several hours later. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
A woman, which believe is relative and friend of passengers of the Malaysia Airlines, center, cover her face surrounded by medias as she and others arrive at a hotel in Beijing, China Saturday, March 8, 2014. A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 carrying 239 people lost contact over the South China Sea early Saturday morning on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, and international aviation authorities still hadn't located the jetliner several hours later. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal safety officials say a team of experts is en route to Asia to be ready to assist in the investigation of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner that disappeared with 239 people on board.

The team includes accident investigators from National Transportation Safety Board, as well as technical experts from the Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing.

The Boeing 777-200 went missing on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.

The safety board said in a statement Saturday the team was sent now because of the travel time involved even though the plane hasn’t yet been found.

The board said that once the plane is found, International Civil Aviation Organization protocols will determine which country will lead the investigation.

 

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