News / Asia

Missing Malaysian Jet May Have Turned Back

Search for Missing Plane Expands, as Do Questionsi
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William Ide
March 09, 2014 7:32 PM
It has been more than a day and a half since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished on its way to Beijing, and the fate of the more than 200 people on board is still unknown. A massive search and rescue is under way in waters off the coast of Malaysia and Vietnam where the plane presumably crashed. VOA's Bill Ide reports from Beijing that as the hours pass, there are more questions than answers about what happened.
Related video by Bill Ide
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Officials investigating the disappearance of a Malaysian airliner with 239 people on board say radar images show the missing jet may have inexplicably turned back before vanishing.

Malaysia's air force chief Rodzali Daud gave no further details on which direction the Boeing 777-200 flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing went or how far it veered off course before disappearing early Saturday.
 
He said military and civilian radar indicated the aircraft may have made a turn back.

Meanwhile, Reuters said that officials investigating the plane were narrowing the focus of their inquiries on the possibility that it disintegrated mid-flight.

Missing Malaysia Airlines planeMissing Malaysia Airlines plane
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Missing Malaysia Airlines plane
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane
A massive international sea search has turned up no trace of the jet, though Vietnamese authorities said late Sunday a low-flying plane had spotted a rectangular object in waters about 90 kilometers south of Tho Chu island, the same area where oil slicks were spotted earlier.

State media speculated the object might be from the missing plane.

Also Sunday, Thai police said they were investigating a "passport ring" as details emerged of bookings for the flight made in Thailand with stolen European passports.

Two Europeans - Christian Kozel, an Austrian, and Luigi Maraldi of Italy - were listed on the passenger manifest of flight MH370, but neither man boarded the plane.

Both had their passports stolen in Thailand during the past two years. Malaysia has launched a terror probe investigating the suspect passengers and the United States has sent in the FBI to assist.

Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said authorities are investigating the identities of two additional passengers who boarded the plane with suspicious papers.

Interpol said Sunday no country had checked the international police agency's database that held information about the stolen Austrian and Italian passports used to board the Malaysia Airlines flight.

The Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared from radar screens about an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing in good weather.  Most of the passengers were Chinese.

Air traffic controllers say they never received a distress calls before the jet disappeared.

The Boeing 777-200 is a very popular plane with an excellent safety record.

The most recent accident involving a Boeing 777 was the Asiana Airlines crash at San Francisco International Airport in July 2013. Three people were killed.  Pilot error is suspected in that incident.

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Comments
     
by: Lisa from: Texas
March 09, 2014 6:17 PM
What if the electronics went out and they couldn't radio? Is that even possible?
In Response

by: Okeloh from: Nairobi, Kenya
March 10, 2014 4:53 AM
@ I totally agree the system can fail but with a such state-of-the-art aircraft the SOS automatically activates with the signal easily picked by the nearest gadget..and I suppose the nearest 50 miles Island or Satellites hovering would detect that!!! Could it be sabotage??? Just wondering!!

by: Okeloh from: Nairobi, Kenya
March 09, 2014 2:56 PM
@ Frank...I also smell a rat for how can a Pilot make a turn-back without radioeing the Controls; who inteferred with the frequencies. Hope we will get some survivors to tell the true story.

by: Frank from: Louisiana
March 09, 2014 12:27 PM
Why would the pilot turn back without radioing? This just keeps getting more and more suspicious....

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