Details surrounding the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 have begun to emerge at a growing rate, adding another layer of mystery to this curious case. According to the most recent reports, attempts to uncover the missing jetliner may have to cover a larger search area than originally thought.
Flight 370, a Boeing 777, took off from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia heading to Beijing, China on March 8. After the airport lost contact with the plane, speculation of what happened to the 239 people on board ranged from mechanical failure to an act of terrorism.
According to the most recent data, Flight 370 reached a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet and traveling at 542 miles per hour when air traffic control last got a response from the plane. A search effort was launched immediately by Malaysian officials, hampered by false reports from a Vietnamese Navy officer who claimed to have seen the plan on radar.
The Royal Thai Navy of Thailand shared data with Malaysian officials in hopes that by compiling their findings they would be closer to uncovering what happened. Conflicting reports from Vietnam clashed with what Malaysia officials found, causing Vietnamese authorities to halt or scale down their search efforts.
Since yesterday, a multi-national search effort was bolstered by the use of China’s satellite’s images which detected images that may have been parts of the plane. However, Malaysia claims the findings were largely empty. A New Zealand man working on an oil rig also claimed he saw the plane on fire as he was working in the South China Sea.
The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. Investigators say Flight 370 remained in the air for a possible additional four hours after its known last location based on engine data. Among the speculated scenarios is that a pilot aboard the plane disable the vehicle’s transponder and landed in an undisclosed location.
However, CNN reports that Malaysian officials deny that the plane flew that long after contact was lost.
Another theory is simple sabotage. Terrorism is being investigated as an angle as well, although efforts on the ground by Malaysian officials haven’t turned up much.
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