India Asked to Join the Hunt For Missing Malaysia Jet: Official

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India has been asked to join the widening search for the Malaysia Airlines jetliner that has been missing for five days, an official said Wednesday.

Malaysian authorities have asked their Indian counterparts to help search an area near the Andaman Sea, India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told The Associated Press.

"This is a new development. The two sides were working out what specifics they want, and what we can assist in," he said.

India controls the Andaman and Nicobar island chains in the sea to Malaysia’s northwest and has a strong naval presence there, according to The Indian Express newspaper.

Five of the 239 passengers aboard the Malaysian Airline jet from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing were Indian nationals, according to the manifest.

In one of the most baffling mysteries in recent aviation history, no trace of the aircraft has been found despite a massive air and sea search by crews from 14 countries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.