Investigators now believe Malaysian Airlines jet was deliberately diverted, either by hijacker or crew

Published: March 15, 2014

IAN MADER and EILEEN NG
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

A woman writes on a board of messages and well-wishes dedicated to people involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Saturday, March 15, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. The Malaysian passenger jet missing for more than a week had its communications deliberately disabled and its last signal came about seven and a half hours after takeoff, raising the likelihood it was hijacked.

A woman writes on a board of messages and well-wishes dedicated to people involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Saturday, March 15, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. The Malaysian passenger jet missing for more than a week had its communications deliberately disabled and its last signal came about seven and a half hours after takeoff, raising the likelihood it was hijacked. (Wong Maye-E, AP Photo)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — The Malaysian jetliner missing for more than a week was deliberately diverted and continued flying for more than six hours after severing contact with the ground, meaning it could have gone as far northwest as Kazakhstan or into the Indian Ocean’s southern reaches, Malaysia’s leader said Saturday.

Prime Minister Najib Razak’s statement confirmed days of mounting speculation that the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 to Beijing was not accidental. It also refocused the investigation into the flight’s 12-person crew and 227 passengers, and underlined the complicated task for searchers who already have been scouring vast areas of ocean.

“Clearly the search for MH370 has entered a new phase,” Najib said at a televised news conference.

Najib stressed that investigators were looking into all possibilities as to why the Boeing 777 deviated so drastically from its original flight path, saying authorities could not confirm whether it was a hijacking. Earlier Saturday, a Malaysian official said the plane had been hijacked, though he added that no motive had been established and no demands had been made known.

“In view of this latest development, the Malaysian authorities have refocused their investigation into the crew and passengers on board,” Najib told reporters, reading from a written statement but not taking any questions.

Police on Saturday went to the Kuala Lumpur homes of both the pilot and co-pilot of the missing plane, according to a guard and several local reporters. Authorities have said they will investigate the pilots as part of their probe, but have released no information about how they are progressing.

MORE: THEORIES ABOUND ABOUT WHERE PLANE WENT

Experts have previously said that whoever disabled the plane’s communication systems and then flew the jet must have had a high degree of technical knowledge and flying experience. One possibility they have raised was that one of the pilots wanted to commit suicide.

The plane departed for an overnight flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing at 12:40 a.m. on March 8. Its communications with civilian air controllers were severed at about 1:20 a.m., and the jet went missing — heralding one of the most puzzling mysteries in modern aviation history.

China, where the bulk of the passengers were from, expressed irritation over what it described as Malaysia’s foot-dragging in releasing information about the search.

Investigators now have a high degree of certainty that one of the plane’s communications systems — the Aircraft and Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) — was disabled before the aircraft reached the east coast of Malaysia, Najib said. Shortly afterward, someone on board switched off the aircraft’s transponder, which communicates with civilian air traffic controllers.

Najib confirmed that Malaysian air force defence radar picked up traces of the plane turning back westward, crossing over Peninsular Malaysia into the northern stretches of the Strait of Malacca. Authorities previously had said this radar data could not be verified.

“These movements are consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane,” Najib said.

Although the aircraft was flying virtually blind to air traffic controllers at this point, onboard equipment continued to send “pings” to satellites.


Pages: 1 2 3

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

Fiji-Desi-crime

B.C.’s saddest robber, a Fiji native, faces possible deportation after guilty plea

TIM PETRUK KAMLOOPS THIS WEEK KAMLOOPS, B.C. — A Surrey man who broke down in tears while robbing a Kamloops store earlier this year may…
Continue Reading »

Taliban attack

Pakistan executes 2 militants, reinstates capital punishment in wake of Taliban school massacre

REBECCA SANTANA And MUNIR AHMED THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ISLAMABAD — Pakistan hanged two convicted militants on Friday — the country’s first executions in years —…
Continue Reading »

Desi murders-death-killings-crime

14 B.C. women killed in domestic violence just tip of iceberg, say advocates

Thousands live with bruises and emotional scars, advocates say CHERYL CHAN VANCOUVER DESI A 77-year-old woman shot dead in her two-storey Saanich home, along with…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Fiji-Desi-crime

B.C.’s saddest robber, a Fiji native, faces possible deportation after guilty plea

TIM PETRUK KAMLOOPS THIS WEEK KAMLOOPS, B.C. — A Surrey man who broke down in tears while robbing a Kamloops store earlier this year may…
Continue Reading »

Desi murders-death-killings-crime

14 B.C. women killed in domestic violence just tip of iceberg, say advocates

Thousands live with bruises and emotional scars, advocates say CHERYL CHAN VANCOUVER DESI A 77-year-old woman shot dead in her two-storey Saanich home, along with…
Continue Reading »

Minister of advanced education Amrik Virk is seen during a ceremony in announcing the B.C. Liberals new cabinet in downtown Vancouver, B.C. Friday, June 7, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Virk switched out of advanced education portfolio as gov’t updates findings in Kwantlen compensation probe

CASSIDY OLIVIER VANCOUVER DESI Premier Christy Clark shuffled her embattled minister of advanced education to another portfolio on Thursday amid new revelations that he was…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Avoiding relapse, inviting happiness over the Holiday Season

NIRMALA RANIGA VANCOUVER DESI The holiday season can be an especially challenging time for individuals in recovery from addictive behaviours. Holiday parties and celebrations with…
Continue Reading »

Taliban attack

Pakistani student who skipped school on the day of Taliban rampage ‘isn’t talking to anyone’

VANCOUVER DESI A 15-year-old student of Pakistan’s Army Public School  – which was bombed by the Taliban this week, killing 141 people, of which 132…
Continue Reading »

Sikhs to quit Trudeau's Liberals

Sikhs ‘across Canada’ to jump Trudeau ship

Nominations issue: ‘We are not Liberals, that’s for sure,’ says general secretary of Vancouver temple LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI A large group of Sikhs in…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Acting blind to beg on Indian streets earned him a mini role in Aamir Khan’s PK

HINDUSTAN TIMES Call it blind luck. Feigning blindness ensured Manoj Roy a few extra coins in his begging bowl. The act was good enough for…
Continue Reading »

TK

Vancouver accountant pins hopes on civil action against newspaper publisher he says attacked him

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI A Vancouver accountant is upset that a prominent South Asian newspaper publisher he accused of attacking him won’t go to trial….
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Priyanka Chopra

Gallery: Stars come together for another big fat Bollywood wedding

VANCOUVER DESI After Salman Khan’s sister Arpita Khan’s wedding with businessman Aayush Sharma last month, Bollywood stars gathered for another high-profile Bollywood wedding that turned…
Continue Reading »

BOLLYWOOD

Film Review: Aamir Khan’s PK unconventionally outstanding

TROY REBEIRO IANS Film: “PK”; Cast: Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh Rajput, Saurabh Shukla, Boman Irani, Parikshat Shahni; Director: Rajkumar Hirani; Rating: *** 1/2…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood jodis-ex lovers

Bollywood’s ex-flames Shahid Kapoor, Kareena to work together in ‘Udta Punjab’?

IANS Mumbai – Actor Shahid Kapoor, who once dated actress Kareena Kapoor, has said that he has never refused to work with the latter and…
Continue Reading »