World News

Missing flight MH370 - new report says airplane could have been hijacked

Missing flight MH370 - new report says airplane could have been hijacked

Copies of the final investigation report on missing flight MH370 are offered to the media in Putrajaya.

On 29 May, Malaysia called off a three-month search by United States firm Ocean Infinity, which had spanned 112,000 square kilometres (43,243 square miles) in the southern Indian Ocean and ended with no significant findings.

It was the second major search after Australia, China and Malaysia ended a fruitless A$200 million ($147.06 million) search across an area of 120,000 sq km (46,332 sq miles) past year. Investigators have never been able to explain why the jet abandoned its route shortly into the flight, traversed Malaysia and then cruised south over the Indian Ocean.

The report, released more than four years after the aircraft vanished, reiterated the Malaysian Government's assertion that the plane was deliberately diverted and flown for more than seven hours after severing communications.

THE Malaysian Government has released its final report into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Kok said the Malaysian government will reopen the full investigation if the airliner is eventually found.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which spent three years coordinating the worldwide search for MH370, released its final 440-page report into the mystery in October concluding that what happened to the Boeing 777 would remain unknown unless the plane were found.

"We can also not exclude the possibility that there's unlawful interference by a third party".

Kok added all the passengers of the 15 countries had their backgrounds checked by their respective countries and all came back with a clean bill of health.

The report also dismissed one conspiracy theory about the plane's disappearance - that it was taken over remotely to foil a hijacking, saying there was no evidence to support this.

Kok said they looked into each theory and rumour raised on social media.

"They appear not to have questioned or challenged what was handed over to them nor was any new independent investigation launched", said Nathan, criticising the scope of the investigation.

The key finding of the Malaysian investigation was that the plane turned in a maneuver that had to be done under manual control. No irregularities were found in the on-board cargo, which included items like lithium batteries and about 2,500 kgs of mangosteen.

More than 20 possible pieces of debris from the Boeing plane have been found since its disappearance, with two - a section of the right wing found on Reunion Island and a piece of the left wing discovered in Tanzania - confirmed as pieces of the aircraft.

MH370 investigators have found no prior medical issues or unusual financial activities involving cabin and flight crew, prior to the doomed Malaysia Airlines flight.

The report said: "The air traffic controllers did not initiate, in a timely manner, the three standard emergency phases in accordance with the standard operating procedures".

In a separate statement, the Minister of Transport Anthony Loke Siew Fook said that the Ministry will review the safety recommendations proposed in the report and will take appropriate improvement measures to prevent similar future air accidents.

The next-of-kin of the passengers were briefed on the final report by investigators earlier on Monday.

"We hope that all sides can continue to remain in close contact and coordination, to properly carry out relevant follow-up work", he told a daily news briefing, without elaborating.


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