Radar showed missing plane may have turned back: Malaysia military

KUALA LUMPUR Sun Mar 9, 2014 12:49am EST

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Radar tracking a missing Malaysia Airlines flight indicated that it may have turned back from its scheduled route to Beijing before disappearing, and Malaysian rescue teams have expanded their search to the country's western coast, Malaysian military officials said on Sunday.

"What we have done is actually look into the recording on the radar that we have and we realized there is a possibility the aircraft did make a turnback," Rodzali Daud, the Royal Malaysian Air Force chief, told reporters at a news conference.

The flight carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew was presumed to have crashed off the Vietnamese coast on Saturday, after losing contact with air traffic controllers off the eastern Malaysia coast.

(Reporting by Eveline Danubrata; writing by Stuart Grudgings; Editing by Alex Richardson)