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

British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign Jihadists More

Audio Hit Song Delivers Ebola Message in Liberia

'Ebola in Town' has danceable beat, while also delivering serious message about avoiding infection More

Video New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

Technology offers real-time, interactive, medical visualization and is multi-dimensional 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid