Missing Malaysia plane hijacked: Passengers could still be alive

2014-03-15 09:12
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Cape Town -  Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has confirmed the missing Malaysian airliner's communications was deliberately disabled and that it turned back from its flight to Beijing and flew across Malaysia.

If the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has been hijacked, it means the family and friends of the 239 people on board have hope they could still be alive.

In a media briefing, Najib said authorities are now trying to trace the airplane across two possible "corridors" - a northern corridor from the border of Kazakstan and Turkmenistan through to northern Thailand, and a southern corridor from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.

He says that the expanded search area is based on the latest available satellite data.

Earlier reports by AP stated an unnamed official had concluded that Flight MH370 was hijacked, after it disappeared on 8 March over the South China Sea - less than an hour into its flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. 

The report stated human intervention, specifically a skilled aviator, was responsible for the "act of piracy, the motive of which is as yet unknown.
The UK's Telegraph reported the head of the Malaysian investigation into the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, had denied any conclusive evidence of hijacking and said it was just one of a number of lines they're looking at.

Also see: Malaysia Airplane mystery: 6 possible scenarios
Evidence that has led to the "conclusive" report by the unnamed investigator on what happened to the plane include the following:

- Appears the plane's communications were switched off deliberately

- Data about the flight path indicates the plane was steered in a way to avoid radar detection

- It may have turned back and crossed back over the Malaysian peninsula westward, away from its intended destination Beijing.

- The Boeing 777's transponder stopped a few minutes before the planes messaging system ended, said to be an unlikely if there was an in-flight catastrophe.

- 50% chance of certainty the plane was detected by military radar after it dropped off civilian radar - communication described as a handshake across borders intended to exchange flight details between plane and satellite but int he instance of Flight MH370 contact may have been made but no details exchanged

- Satellites detected faint electronic signals believed to be from the plane, indicating it could have headed off course before running out of fuel over the Indian Ocean.

Head investigator Rahman has however said the investigation team was still looking at all possibilities and profiling all passengers and crew for firm evidence. 

Until then the Malaysia Flight MH370 remains shrouded in mystery and is fast becoming one of the most baffling aviation incidents to date, akin to searching for a needle in a hay stack.

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