Vietnamese search aircraft have found two, narrowly-spaced oil slicks in the South China Sea and is working to verify if it belongs to Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, according to a statement posted on the government’s web site.

The 10-15km-long oil slicks spaced 500m apart were discovered 140km south of Tho Chu Island, which is located off the southwest coast of Vietnam, the statement says.

The observations were made with the “naked eye” of the search crews, the statement reports.

Malaysia Airlines has not yet confirmed the possible sighting of debris belonging to MH370.

The airline released a statement 18:40 in Malaysia in response to desperate public inquiries about the fate of the aircraft, which was reported missing more than 11h earlier.

“We’re accelerating every effort with all relevant authorities to locate the aircraft,” the airline says.

The Boeing 777-200 with 239 passengers and crew departed Kuala Lumpur at 00:41 with a scheduled arrival in Beijing at 06:30.