Obama Says Plane Search a ‘Top Priority’

WASHINGTON ~

President Barack Obama said Wednesday the search for the missing Malaysian airliner was a “top priority” for the United States and offered every possible resource – including the FBI.

In his first on camera comments on the mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Obama offered thoughts and prayers to the relatives of the missing passengers.

“I want them to be assured that we consider this a top priority,” Obama told Dallas television station KDFW in an interview at the White House.

“We have put every resource that we have available at the disposal of the search process,” he said.

“There has been close cooperation with the Malaysian government.” Obama said the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board and any agency or official that deals with aviation was at the disposal of the investigation.

Meanwhile Maldives police has launched an investigation into reports that residents of the remote Maldives island of Kuda Huvadhoo in Dhaal Atoll saw a “low flying jumbo jet” on the morning of the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

But the police did not reveal any details.

While the disappearance of the Boeing 777 jet carrying 239 passengers has left the whole world in bewilderment, several residents of Kuda Huvadhoo told local media Tuesday that they saw a “low flying jumbo jet” at around 6:15 a.m. on March 8.

Reported by Xinhua, Aviation Security Command head Colonel Mohamed Ziyad said that it was a white aircraft, with red stripes across it which is what the Malaysia Airlines flights typically look like.

Eyewitnesses from the Kuda Huvadhoo concurred that the plane was traveling North to South-East, towards the Southern tip of the Maldives Addu. They also noted the incredibly loud noise that the flight made when it flew over the island.

The reports are now being investigated by the Maldives Police. Earlier reports indicated that Maldives neighbor, Sri Lanka, had opened up its air space on a request by the Malaysian government to search for the missing plane.

Planes from Malaysia, the United States, New Zealand and Australia had flown over the island for several days but no sign of the flight was seen. Twenty six countries are currently searching for the missing jet.

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