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

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' 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.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs