News / Asia

    Malaysia Airlines Probe Refocuses on Crew, Passengers

    Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak addresses reporters about the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, March 15, 2014.
    Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak addresses reporters about the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, March 15, 2014.
    Malaysia's prime minister, Najib Razak, says there is a "high degree of certainty" someone deliberately shut off the communications systems on the missing Malaysian jetliner, but he stopped short of saying the plane was hijacked.

    The frustrating search for Flight 370 now ranges from Kazakhstan to the southern Indian Ocean, and investigators say the plane had enough fuel to fly for several hours after disappearing from radar Saturday, March 8.

    Najib's remarks on Saturday triggered a new flood of speculation into what caused the Boeing 777 to vanish from civilian radar soon after taking off. His comments followed witness accounts of Kuala Lumpur police visits to the homes of the pilot and co-pilot Saturday.

    Officials had no comment about the police visits.

    Najib said somewhere near the Malaysian border the plane's transponder was switched off, before the jet veered westward in a fashion "consistent with deliberate action."

    "The Royal Malaysian Air Force primary radar data showed that an aircraft, which was believed, but not confirmed to be MH370 did indeed turn back. It then flew in a westerly direction back over peninsula Malaysia before turning northwest," he said.

    The prime minister said despite media reports of a hijacking, Malaysian authorities are looking into all possibilities of what might have caused the flight to deviate from its original path. He said officials are refocusing their investigation on the crew and passengers.

    Najib said signals between the Malaysia Airlines plane and a satellite continued more than six-and-a-half hours after primary contact with the jet was lost.

    He said authorities are now trying to trace the plane in two possible corridors: one from the border of Kazakhstan to northern Thailand, and the other south to the southern Indian Ocean. He said search efforts in the South China Sea are ending.

    The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has led to one of aviation's most puzzling mysteries.

    Speculation has been rampant about what caused the plane's disappearance, including mechanical failure, a hijacking, terrorism or pilot intent to commit suicide.

    A Royal Malaysian Navy's missile corvette and an offshore patrol vessel are seen during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airliner over the Straits of Malacca, Malaysia, March 13, 2014.A Royal Malaysian Navy's missile corvette and an offshore patrol vessel are seen during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airliner over the Straits of Malacca, Malaysia, March 13, 2014.
    x
    A Royal Malaysian Navy's missile corvette and an offshore patrol vessel are seen during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airliner over the Straits of Malacca, Malaysia, March 13, 2014.
    A Royal Malaysian Navy's missile corvette and an offshore patrol vessel are seen during a search and rescue operation for the missing Malaysia Airliner over the Straits of Malacca, Malaysia, March 13, 2014.
    Dozens of ships and planes from about 15 countries have contributed to the search for the aircraft, which had 239 people on board.  It was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it disappeared.

    U.S. officials have said the jet may have crashed into the Indian Ocean. Indian military aircraft have flown in the Indian Ocean over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands — more than 500 mostly uninhabited, heavily forested land masses.

    About two-thirds of the people on board the missing flight were Chinese. Other passengers included Europeans and Americans.


    Steve Herman

    A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

    You May Like

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: mary from: seagoville
    March 16, 2014 7:49 AM
    Chris, the Iranians were the same two men that had the stolen passports. Those passports were on the Interpol list of stolen passports but the airline did not bother to check the passports. Personally, I think they could be in Pakistan... but who knows. If they intended to blow the plane up, they would have wanted everyone to know. So it probably was a form of hijacking, unless an accident occurred during the hijacking and they are at the bottom of the ocean, we should hear more of the passengers. Prehaps a ransom note... but I think it is likely the plane is at the bottom of the ocean. A failed hijacking... Pakistan...

    by: john w burns from: usa
    March 16, 2014 7:21 AM
    so they stopped short of calling it a terrorist act. sounds like something the Obama administration and the American mainstream media would do. they won't face up to the fact that muslins are not to be trusted. if I was getting on a plane and saw anything remotely muslin, I would depart.

    by: larisa from: tobago
    March 16, 2014 7:15 AM
    I feel the bombular triangle hv taken the plane cuz they say someone spotted the mh370 next to the triangle

    by: Qaiser Javed from: UK
    March 16, 2014 7:12 AM
    Had MH370 enough fuel to fly Bermuda Triangle?

    by: chris from: Norway
    March 15, 2014 4:02 PM
    Inconsistencies and contradictions; from stolen passports to demonizing black men, then later to Iranians and now on crew and passengers. Why don't you shut up your mouth or talk constructively as a wise man should do and inject more effort in locating where the airplane has plunged and examine the black box when it is found?

    by: meanbill from: USA
    March 15, 2014 10:05 AM
    DIDN'T I say from day one, "LOOK for the plane on an airfield in Burma or Thailand" .. (BUT NOW?) .. that 777 could have landed and refueled in Burma or Thailand, and gone on to Somalia, Yemen, or some other unknown destination..
    OVERLOOKED? ... LOOK for the ship that was in the area the day before the oil slick was located, that might have participated in the hijacking.. ......... REALLY

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.