Updated: Sat, 08 Mar 2014 13:54:30 GMT | By Agence France-Presse

Three Americans on missing Malaysia Air jet: US official

Three Americans were aboard a Malaysia Airlines jet that went missing off the coast of Vietnam, a US State Department official said Saturday.

"At this time, we can confirm that three US citizens were on board," the official said in a statement.

"Officials from the US embassies in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing are in contact with the individuals' families," the official said, adding that Washington is "working to assess whether additional US citizens may have been on board the flight".

"We extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones of those on board Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370," the official continued, adding that the US government is not providing additional information about the Americans on the missing flight "out of respect for them".

Rescue planes on Saturday were searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, which was carrying 239 passengers.

Officials in Vietnam have said two large oil slicks have been spotted, the first possible sign that the missing twin-engine Boeing 777 jetliner could have gone down somewhere in the waters between southern Vietnam and northern Malaysia.

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