Prime Minister: ‘Deliberate Action’ Caused Disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370
Search for Plane Becomes Criminal Inquiry
Malaysia’s head of state said that Flight 370 vanished as a result of “deliberate action” of someone on the aircraft.
At a news conference Saturday afternoon, Prime Minister Najib Razak made his first comments on the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner, saying that he had “new information that sheds further light on what happened to MH370.”
While “all possibilities are being investigated,” he said that Malaysia has refocused its investigation on “the crew and passengers on board,” acknowledging the news accounts that had already reported that the plane had been hijacked.
The prime minister’s comments were consistent with what U.S. investigators have stated, that one or more individuals on the flight deliberately changed its course and attempted to mask its location. Saying there was a “high degree of certainty” that the plane’s two communications systems were disabled, it nonetheless remained unclear who might have actually done this and whether it was the actions of a lone hijacker or someone working in concert with others.
One week later, no individual or group has claimed any responsibility for the plane’s disappearance
The data, analyzed and corroborated by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, U.K. Air Accidents Investigation Board, and the Malaysian authorities, shows that the plane turned back from its original course near the border between Malaysian and Vietnamese air traffic control and it was there that the plane’s transponders were switched off.
The last confirmed satellite communication, according to the prime minister, was at 8:11 a.m. Malaysia time. The routine messages sent by the aircraft show that the plane was still aloft nearly six hours after its last sighting by Malaysian military radar.
The plane is believed to be in one of two possible corridors: a northern corridor from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, or a southern corridor from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.
(Photo: Chris Finney)