KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 (Bernama) — The search and rescue (SAR) operations of the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 enters its second week, with a confirmation that the unknown flight traced by the primary radar was Flight MH370. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak told a news conference at Sepang, Saturday that it had deviated from its original path heading to Beijing, China and had gone missing since last Saturday. Despite media reports that the plane was hijacked, Najib stressed that the authorities were still investigating all possibilities as to what caused Flight MH370 to deviate from its original flight path.
The authorities and investigation team had also obtained a new data in relation to the plane’s last communication with the satellite and it opened up a new phase for search operation, including ending the operation in the South China Sea and reassessing the redeployment of the assets. The finding was concurred by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), both United States-based, Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) of United Kingdom and the Malaysian authorities, who were working separately on the same data. In view of that development, Malaysia and its international counterparts had determined that the plane’s last communication with the satellite was in one of two possible corridors – northern or southern.
The two possible corridors are a northern corridor stretching approximately from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, or a southern corridor stretching approximately from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean. Najib also revealed that according to the new data, the last confirmed communication between the plane and the satellite was at 8.11 am Malaysian time on March 8, Saturday. In view of the latest development on the missing Flight MH370, the Malaysian authorities have also refocused their investigation into the crew and passengers on board. As of today, 14 countries, 43 ships and 58 aircraft are involved in the search. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman had denied international media allegation that Malaysia was not concerned for MH370 passengers families and thus did not send a representative to China.
MAS, in a statement here today, said that it remained absolutely committed to sharing confirmed information with family members and the wider public in a fully open and transparent manner over the disappearance of Flight MH370. However, given the nature of the situation, it said that the importance of validating new information before it was released into the public domain was paramount. It said that MAS‘ absolute priority at all times had been to support the authorities leading the multinational search for MH370 so that they could finally provide the answers, which the families and the wider community were waiting for.