Kiwi reports burning object in sky

Last updated 06:48 13/03/2014

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A New Zealander working on an oil rig off the coast of Vietnam reportedly saw a burning object in the sky about the time the missing Malaysia Airlines flight is believed to have crashed.

Flight MH370 dropped out of sight an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing early on Saturday, under clear night skies and with no suspicion of any mechanical problems. Missing are 239 people, two of them New Zealanders.

ABC News reporter Bob Woodruff obtained an email sent by New Zealander Mike McKay, who works on the "Songa Mercur" oil rig in the South China Sea, to his bosses detailing what he saw.

In the email McKay said that he "observed the plane burning at high altitude...in one piece" about 50-70 kilometres from his location.

He gave co-ordinates for the location of the rig, which recently moved from Cuba to the shores of Vietnam.

Doan Huu Gia, deputy general director of Vietnam's air traffic management, confirmed they had been sent the email, the BBC reported.

"We received an email from a New Zealander who works on one of the oil rigs off Vung Tau.

"He said he spotted a burning [object] at that location, some 300 km southeast of Vung Tau."

The Vietnamese authorities sent a plane to investigate the sighting, but it found nothing, Vietnamese naval officer Le Ming Thanh told ABC News.

Officials still do not know what went wrong with the aircraft, and several leads pursued so far have proven not to be linked to the plane.

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