KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 – Sixty hours into the missing of flight MH370 and authorities are still unable to locate any signs of the plane which dropped off the radar at 2.40am on Saturday. A number of sightings such as floating objects and oil slicks were reported, however none has been confirmed to belong to MH370. 

“We have not found anything that appears to be objects from the aircraft, let alone the aircraft. We will be intensifying efforts to locate it, ” said Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) Director-General, Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman at a press conference held at 12pm on Monday.

“For us to determine what really happened, we need hard evidence and we need parts of the aircraft for us to analyze,” he added. Vietnam media had on Sunday reported sightings of a piece that resembled the inner part of the door of an aircraft. However, he said that the ‘report was not verified officially by Vietnamese authorities’. 

Azharuddin added that aircrafts participating in the search and rescue also spotted objects which resembled the tail of the plane but turned out to be ‘logs tied together’ resembling a pontoon. “For the aircraft to just go missing from the radar blip, many theories have been said in the media. Many experts around the world contributed to what could have happen. We are equally puzzled as well,” he said adding that more international agencies have offered help to assist in the investigations.

“The Federal Aviation Administration (FFA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) from the United States are already here and we will meet as soon as possible to see how they can offer their assistance. We also received offer from AAIB and the Australians. We have not received anything from the French yet.” 

Eight countries have joined Malaysia in the search and rescue operations including Vietnam, China, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, the United States and Australia. The operations has been widened to a radius of 50 from 20 nautical miles, covering the South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca. 34 aircrafts and 40 ships have been deployed to intensify the search.

The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) said on Monday the baggage of five people who checked in but did not board a Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight that disappeared was found to be ‘clean’. “We removed their baggage. Every piece of baggage was recorded and given a unique serial number so that the correct baggage was removed from the aircraft,” said DCA director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman. 

On reports of two passengers boarded the aircraft with stolen passports, he said details could not be revealed now as it might jeopardise investigations. Azharuddin noted that the authorities concerned were investigating the case and they were going through video footage of the two passengers. “Once we get any report from the authorities, we will inform what has been gathered by the team of experts,” he told a news conference.

“The experts around the world have also mentioned that it is a very big area for us to cover; we all have to work together in order to find the aircraft,” he said. Asked whether there was time frame set for the search operation, Azharuddin said there was none. Meanwhile, MAS group chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said they were making arrangements for the next-of-kin of Flight MH370 passengers from China to be flown to Kuala Lumpur either today or tomorrow.

“We have made an offer of two next-of-kin of every passenger to be flown either today or tomorrow and three more next-of-kin to be flown later,” he said. MAS Flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing about an hour after taking off from the KL International Airport at 12.41 am Saturday. It should have landed in Beijing at 6.30 am.

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