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, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid