MAS MH370 News: Latest Updates And Timeline Of Events On SAYS

A timeline of events and latest updates from day 1 to day 18 of missing MAS flight MH370 on 8 March 2014. News updates here are curated by the SAYS Content Team from local and international media sources.

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For A Timeline Of The Latest MH370 Developments From Day 18 And Beyond:

DAY 18, 9.30AM: Bad Weather Suspends Search For MH370 In Australia

On board flight MH370

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Search operations for #MH370 suspended for today due to adverse weather. Search resuming tomorrow if weather permits.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority emails media to say:
Due to rough seas, HMAS Success departed the search area early this morning and is now in transit south of the search area until seas abate. A sea state ranging between 7 to 8 is forecast today with waves up to two metres and an associated swell of up to four metres.

The area is also forecast to experience strong gale force winds of up to 80km/h, periods of heavy rain, and low cloud with a ceiling between 200 and 500 feet.

AMSA has undertaken a risk assessment and determined that the current weather conditions would make any air and sea search activities hazardous and pose a risk to crew. Therefore, AMSA has suspended all sea and air search operations for today due to these weather conditions.

DAY 17, 10:00PM: PM Najib, "MH370 Has Ended In The Southern Indian Ocean"

The last faint hopes of finding survivors from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane were extinguished on Monday, when the Malaysian prime minister announced that flight MH370 had been lost in the southern Indian Ocean.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (C) delivers a statement on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 during a press conference at the Putra World Trade Center (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur on March 24, 2014.

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Najib Razak's statement followed more than two weeks of anguish for the families of the 239 on board and a massive international hunt for any trace of the plane. Najib said new analysis of satellite data showed that the last known position of the Boeing 777 was over a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean, far from any possible landing sites.

"It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that according to new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean," he told reporters in a late-night news conference. He said he would hold a news conference Tuesday to share more details.

Relatives Scream As They Are Told News By Text

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His remarks followed a text message sent from Malaysia Airlines to family members of the people aboard, many of whom have been gathered for weeks in a hotel in Beijing. “Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived,” the airline said.

Indian Ocean Vs Others: Comparing The Depth Zone

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6:00PM: China And Australia Search Planes Spot Floating Coloured Objects

Able Seaman Emma Searle works in an operations room of the Australian Navy ship the HMAS Success as part of the search for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370. A Chinese military aircraft searching for the missing aircraft spotted several 'suspicious' floating objects on Monday in remote seas off Australia.

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Chinese aircrew have spotted "suspicious objects" in the southern Indian Ocean in the search for vanished Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the official Xinhua news agency said Monday. The "white and square" objects were spotted by searchers aboard a Chinese Ilyushin-76 plane, it said, in an area where satellite images had identified potential debris.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority also advise objects have been located by a Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orion. HMAS Success is on scene and is attempting to locate the objects in the search for missing Malaysia Aircraft flight MH370.

The objects were spotted in the search area about 2500 kilometres south-west of Perth by the RAAF Orion about 2.45pm (AEDT). The crew on board the Orion reported seeing two objects – the first a grey or green circular object and the second an orange rectangular object. The objects identified by the RAAF Orion are separate to the objects reported by the Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 to AMSA earlier today.

3 aircraft - 2 from Japan and 1 from the UAE – have already departed from Subang today and are en route to the southern corridor. 6 Malaysian ships, with 3 ship-borne helicopters, are now in northern part of the southern corridor. 10 Chinese ships are in the southern corridor, carrying out search and rescue operations. HMS Echo is currently refuelling in the Maldives and will be sailing to the southern corridor this evening.

In the northern corridor, Turkmenistan have confirmed they have not had any sightings of MH370 on their radar. Each piece of information we receive from our partners in the northern corridor helps us to continuously narrow the corridor.

On the police investigation, we can confirm that the police have interviewed more than a hundred people, including families of both the pilot and co-pilot. As far as the transcript is concerned, the technical committee is considering releasing it and we will keep you informed about the decision.

Search team

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DAY 17, 10:15AM: New Satellite Data From France Detects Floating Objects In MH370 Search Area

Origami cranes, containing prayers and messages for those on flight MH370, in Bangsar, Malaysia

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Malaysia said on Sunday it had received new satellite data from France indicating floating objects in the search area for a missing Malaysian jet in the southern Indian Ocean.

The Transport Ministry said the information had been passed on to Australian authorities who are coordinating the search for the plane, now focused on a remote stretch of ocean 2,500 kilometres (1,562 miles) southwest of Perth. The ministry said the latest data came in the form of images but France's foreign ministry later clarified this, saying it came in the form of "satellite-generated radar echoes".

A radar echo is an electronic signal that contains information about the location and distance of the object which bounces the signal back. According to the French statement, the debris was floating around 2,300 kilometres from Perth. It said France would increase its satellite capacity to continue the search in the zone.

An unnamed Malaysian official told the Associated Press that the new satellite image was taken on Friday, and that one of the potential objects was estimated to be about the same size as one spotted by a Chinese satellite that appeared to be 22m (72ft) by 13m (43ft).

However, the official said the French satellite imagery was fuzzy and very unclear, making it difficult to determine the exact dimensions.

New satellite data from the French has raised hopes of finding the missing Flight MH370 but Cyclone Gillian could make things much harder. The pilots of the radar-equipped aircraft with multiple sensors, however, are unfazed. They will adjust the systems to ˜search smarter€™ no matter how bad the weather.

Two Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft from China and two P3 Orion aircraft from Japan joined the search and rescue (SAR) operation for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in the southern corridor on Monday. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said a total of 10 aircraft will be involved in the search for possible objects in the search area about 2,500 kilometres south-west of Perth.

Japanese P-3C Orion aircraft arrived at RAAF Base Pearce on Sunday to assist in the search

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HMAS Success, under Capt Allison Norris, is the only ship so far in the search zone

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DAY 16: SAR Operations Intensified As More Planes Join The Search For Missing MH370

On Sunday, eight airplanes will fly over the southern Indian Ocean searching for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, said Australian Maritime Safety Authority spokeswoman Andrea Hayward-Maher.
That's two planes more than Saturday and the most aircraft involved in the search lead by Australia so far, she said.

The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has been stepped up as more planes have been sent out to check the Indian Ocean

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Sunday's search will be a visual search, AMSA rescue spokesman Mike Barton told reporters. Eyes will take precedence over radar. The planes will base their movements on Chinese satellite images of debris and drift modeling, the AMSA said. On Saturday, searchers found a wooden pallet as well as strapping belts, AMSA's John Young said. The use of wooden pallets is common in the airline industry.

This map shows the search area after possible debris was spotted on satellite images of the Indian Ocean

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The Sunday search has been split into two areas that cover 59,000 square kilometers (22,800 square miles) about 2,500 kilometers (1,553 miles) southwest of Perth. Only one ship, the HMAS Success, an Australian naval vessel, will be involved in the Sunday search, Barton said. A Norwegian merchant ship previously involved was released in anticipation of rough weather.

INFOGRAPHIC: A Visual Representation Of The Internet's Search For MH370

Where is that plane? That's the question we've all been asking since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 mysteriously vanished after taking off on March 8. Seeking answers, we've collectively turned to the Internet.

Detailing the online search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

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Twitter has turned into a near-constant stream of news, rumors, and theories, many tweeted with the hashtag #MH370. In fact, nearly four million tweets have been sent with #MH370 since March 8, according to Topsy. On Reddit, users have set up a comprehensive thread on the r/news subreddit, where an ongoing post dedicated to sharing the latest information remains "stickied" at the top of the page. As of March 16, it now has its own subreddit, too: r/MH370. A Wikipedia page for the missing plane was established less than eight hours after the flight disappeared, and has grown from just 85 words to well over 4,000, and has been edited thousands of times. And Tomnod, a digital mapmaking company's platform for crowdsourcing satellite imagery, 3 million volunteers are scouring 26,000km of satellite imagery, searching for signs of debris. The company is continually adding new imagery to search.

DAY 16, 11:30AM: Debris Found In Indian Ocean But Has Not Been Confirmed As MH370's So Far

Small pieces of debris, including a wooden pallet, were spotted by one of the aircraft searching for a missing Malaysian airliner in the southern Indian Ocean, according to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott as quoted by China's Xinhua News Agency. In a report on its website, Xinhua quoted Abbot as saying that it was too early to confirm their linkage to Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 that went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.

A Chinese satellite image of an object spotted in the southern Indian Ocean that could be wreckage from missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370

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"Yesterday, one of our civilian search aircraft got visuals of a number of objects in a fairly small area in the overall Australian search zone. "Obviously, before we can be too specific about what it might be, we need to recover this material. It's still too early to be definite," Abbot was quoted as telling reporters Sunday in Papua New Guinea where he is on an official visit.

Regarding the new satellite imagery released yesterday by China, Abbot said it suggested at least one large object. He said there was increasing hope that the authorities might solve the mystery of the missing aircraft. “It’s still too early to be definite, but obviously we have now had a number of very credible leads and there is increasing hope - no more than hope, no more than hope - that we might be on the road to discovering what did happen to this ill-fated aircraft," he is quoted saying by AFP.

Two Chinese military planes have arrived in Perth in Australia to join international search operations for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet. Crews are set to scour southern areas of the Indian Ocean for a fourth day. Two sets of satellite images showing floating objects in the area have raised hopes that the jet may be there.

The two Chinese planes will join six other jets in the search team

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DAY 15, [BREAKING] China To Release New Images Showing Possible Debris Floating In The Southern Corridor

The Chinese government has sent a message to Malaysia's minister of defence and acting transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein during a press conference to alert authorities that it has a satellite image of debris in the southern Indian Ocean.

This is note handed to Malaysia minister with Chinese discovery of floating objectMH370

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The object is 22 meters long and 30 meters wide, (72 feet by 98 feet) , Hishammuddin Hussein announced. He told reporters he's just gotten the information, and China will release more details in "coming hours."

"I do not have any more details, let me investigate further and I will inform you," said the acting Transport Minister before bringing the conference to a premature close.

6:30PM: FULL Transcript Of Press Statement By Hishammuddin On Missing MH370

Introductory statement

Diplomatic, logistical and technical efforts continue in the search for MH370. As we intensify the search and rescue operations, the overall emphasis remains the same: using all available means to narrow the search areas in both corridors.
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Operational update

In the northern corridor, in response to diplomatic notes, we can confirm that China, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Laos, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have verbally informed the search and rescue operation that, based on preliminary analysis, there have been no sightings of the aircraft on their radar. With respect to the southern corridor, today two Chinese Ilyushin IL-76s will arrive in Perth to begin operations. The Shaanxi Y-8 which arrived yesterday will be operating from Subang air base in Malaysia. China is also sending an additional two ships from the Andaman Sea to join the five Chinese ships already in the southern corridor. Two Indian aircraft, a P-8 Poseidon and C-130 Hercules, arrived in Malaysia at 18:00 last night to assist with the search. HMS Echo is currently in the Persian Gulf and is en route to the southern corridor. The ship is equipped with advanced sensors that allow it to search effectively underwater.

Australian search area

Five aircraft and two merchant ships were involved in the search and rescue operations in the vicinity of the objects identified by the Australian authorities, which are approximately 2,500km southwest of Perth. Despite improved visual search conditions yesterday, there were no sightings of the objects of interest. Operations continue, and today they plan to search an area of approximately 10,500 square nautical miles. The Rescue Co-ordination Centre Australia anticipates that 6 aircraft, 4 military and 2 civilian, will be visually searching the area. Two merchant vessels will also be present during search operations, and HMAS Success was due to reach the search area at 14:30 today. Generally, conditions in the southern corridor are very challenging. The ocean varies between 1,150 metres and 7,000 metres in depth. In the area where the possible objects were identified by the Australian authorities there are strong currents and rough seas. A cyclone warning has been declared for Tropical Cyclone Gillian, which is located in the southern corridor. Very strong winds and rough seas are expected there today.

Family briefings

The briefing for families in KL yesterday went well. The briefing in Beijing, however, was less productive. Despite the best intentions, I understand there were tense scenes. I have received a report from the Malaysian high-level team, as well as a copy of the declaration from the Chinese families. I have asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the authorities in China, to investigate what happened. We will continue to engage with the families. We are working hard with Chinese authorities and the Chinese working group to create a more conducive environment for the briefings. I have instructed my technical team to do a review of both briefings so that we can improve them. We appeal to all parties to be understanding during this extraordinary and difficult time. My pledge to all the families, wherever they are, is the same: we will do everything in our power to keep you informed.

Cargo manifest

On the matter of MH370’s cargo, the cargo manifest is with the investigations team, and will be released in due course. Preliminary investigation of the cargo manifest has not shown any link to anything that might have contributed to MH370’s disappearance. As was stated yesterday, all cargo carried on MH370 was in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organisation and International Air Transport Association standards.


The original transcript of the conversation between MH370 and Malaysian air traffic control is with the investigations team, where it is being analysed. As is standard practice in investigations of this sort, the transcript cannot be publicly released at this stage. I can however confirm that the transcript does not indicate anything abnormal.

A look at the international search for flight

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Concluding remarks

Over the past two weeks, the search for MH370 has taken many twists and turns. From satellite images to eyewitness accounts, we have followed every lead and investigated every possibility.
Today we are focused on leads from the satellite images announced by the Australian authorities on Thursday. We continue to be updated by the Australian authorities on an hourly basis. I know this rollercoaster has been incredibly hard for everyone, especially for the families. We hope and pray this difficult search will be resolved, and bring closure to those whose relatives were on board.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all 26 countries who are with us in this effort; from ordinary people to the highest levels of government. I would also like to pay special tribute to the men and women from all countries who are putting themselves in harm’s way in the search for MH370. As we speak, people are sailing through a cyclone to help find the missing plane. We are immensely grateful to all our partners for their efforts.

DAY 15: US Mulls Malaysian Request For Sonar Gear To Bolster The So-Far Frustrated Search For MH370

MH370 The Pentagon is weighing a request from Malaysia for sonar equipment to bolster the so-far frustrated search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, as concerns grow that any debris may have sunk to the bottom of the sea. Malaysia's Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein asked for undersea surveillance equipment in a phone call with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, as the Pentagon tallied US$2.5 million in costs so far in the nearly two-week-old search.

Flight Leuitenant Neville (Smokey) Dawson on board a Royal Australian Airforce AP-3C Orion from Pearce Airforce Base during a search mission for possible MH370 debris on March 21, 2014 in Perth, Australia

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"No specific request was made for any particular type. It was just a general request for us to help them locate the wreckage and/or the black box," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told Reuters on Friday. "The secretary said he would consider the request, that he would examine whether we had anything that was both available and potentially helpful and that he would get back to the minister in the very near future."

The US Navy has a variety of active and passive sonar systems, some of which search the ocean for objects by emitting sound "pings" and monitoring the echoes that bounce back and others that listen for sound like an undersea microphone. One system, called a "Towed Pinger Locator", is towed behind ships and is used to listen for downed Navy and commercial aircraft at depths of up to 6,000 metres, according to the US Navy's website.

The US military loaned this technology to France during its two-year effort to locate the black box from an Air France jetliner that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in June 2009. The P-8 and P-3 spy planes, which the United States is already deploying in the Malaysian jetliner search, also carry "sonobuoys" that can be dropped into the sea and use sonar signals to search the waters below.

"Sound actually travels a long distance under water, depending on the conditions," Kirby said. "Temperature, current, the underwater topography, all of these things change the way sound travels underwater. But sound can travel a long, long way."

One big question will be where to drop any sonar equipment. Investigators suspect Flight MH370, which took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing shortly after midnight on March 8, was deliberately diverted thousands of miles from its scheduled path. They say they are focusing on hijacking or sabotage but have not ruled out technical problems. There has been no confirmed sign of wreckage so far and Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss cautioned yesterday that anything once floating "may have slipped to the bottom."

DAY 14, 5:30PM: More Assets Join Search For Possible Aircraft Debris In Australian Region

Search planes scour Indian Ocean 1,500 miles southwest of Australia for #MH370

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At the press conference at Sama-Sama Hotel in Sepang today, acting transport minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said that Malaysia is still waiting for information from Australian authority on whether the objects sighted in the southern Indian Ocean is related to MH370.

He announces new contributions to the search effort by the UK, HMS Echo on its way to the southern Indian Ocean. Those people who were involved in the investigation into the Air France crash have offered their assistance, and the minister says he will be speaking to America's defence secretary later today to ask for more assets.

He says authorities in Kazakhstan have confirmed they have found no trace of MH370, and Ukrainian police have completed the background checks on their passengers which have come back as clear. The Malaysian transport minister said they were using every possible asset, including the most sophisticated plans and vessels in the search effort.

China is sending three warships and an icebreaker to join the search for possible pieces of a missing Malaysia Airlines plane in the southern Indian Ocean, the government said Friday.

Chief executive of Malaysia Airlines is asked about lithium ion batteries in the cargo hold, and if they are unstable. He says they do carry some such batteries, but they are approved and not declared dangerous goods. He says many airlines do this.

MH370 please come back

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Search planes flying deep into the southern Indian Ocean have found nothing so far that could be from the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, Australia's acting prime minister said in a press conference earlier. "The last report I have is that nothing of particular significance has been identified in the search today but the work will continue," said Warren Truss, who is acting prime minister while Tony Abbott is in Papua New Guinea.

DAY 14, 10:30AM: Six Merchant Ships And Five Aircraft To Continue Looking For Possible MH370 Debris In Australia

An Australian Department of Defence handout made available on 21 March 2014 shows maintenance personnel from No.10 Squadron, No. 92 Wing, conduct post-flight checks after the arrival of an AP-3C Orion to Royal Australian Air Force Base Pearce, Western Australia, following a sortie in support of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority-led search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean.

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Five aircraft will be involved in Friday's search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa). A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orion departed for the search area around 9.15am (6.15am Malaysian time). A civil Gulfstream jet and a second RAAF P3 Orion departed for the search area at approximately 11am (8am).

A third RAAF P3 Orion is due to depart for the search area at approximately 1pm (10am). The United States Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft is due to depart for the search area at approximately 4pm (1pm). Due to the distance to and from the search area, the aircraft involved have an endurance of approximately two hours of search time, Amsa said in a statement on its website. One merchant vessel is currently in the search area. A second merchant vessel is due to arrive Friday night.

If the objects - the biggest measures up to 24m - are from the Boeing 777, recovery teams will work as quickly as possible to locate the rest of the wreckage in the hope it leads them to the data and cockpit voice recorders. To do this, scientists have developed computer models to effectively play waves and winds backwards, allowing rescue workers to retrace the movements of debris to the site of a crash.

Search and rescue aircraft

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The planes - two from Australia, one from New Zealand and one US aircraft - covered an area of 23,000 sq km without any sighting before the search was suspended yesterday, said Amsa. They will resume this morning.

India has declined China's proposal to allow four of its warships to join the hunt for the MH370 jetliner near the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, even as it is now dispatching two aircraft to Malaysia to join the international search force that is now scanning southern Indian Ocean off Australia for the missing 777-200ER aircraft.

"The A&N command is our military outpost in the region, which overlooks the Malacca Strait and dominates the Six-Degree Channel. We don't want Chinese warships sniffing around in the area on the pretext of hunting for the missing jetliner or anti-piracy patrols," said an official.

Press release from Australia on 21 March 2014

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DAY 13, 6:15PM: Australia's Discovery, Regrets And Other Highlights From Day 13 Press Conference

Navy P-8A Poseidon arrives in Australia as jetliner search widens

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At 10:00 this morning, the Prime Minister received a call from the Prime Minister of Australia, informing him that ‘two possible objects related to the search’ for MH370 had been identified in the Southern Indian Ocean. The Australian authorities in Kuala Lumpur have also briefed me on the situation, and the Australian Foreign Minister has spoken to the Foreign Minister of Malaysia.

“Today we have a credible lead, but we still need to corroborate and verify, but there is hope. We must never, never give up hope,” he said. With regards to when the images were captured on the satellite, Hishammuddin said the stamp date on the images that have been shared on the internet still needed to be checked and verified.

As a result of this information, four aircraft have been re-orientated to an area 2,500 kilometres southwest of Perth. A Royal Australian Air Force P-3 Orion aircraft arrived in the area at about 10:50AM. Another 3 aircraft have been tasked by RCC Australia to the area, including a second RAAF Orion, a Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion, and a US Navy P-8 Poseidon.

Clouds hover outside the window of a Vietnam Air Force search and rescue aircraft An-26, on a mission to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

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Counterparts - Hishammuddin said that during the course of the operation, the Chief of the Defence Force had spoken to his counterparts from several countries including: Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Maldives, Nepal, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, The UK, and the USA.
"All were very supportive, and all offered their assistance," he said in his statement.

Currently, there are 18 ships, 29 aircraft and 6 ship-borne helicopters deployed along the northern and southern corridors, as follows: In the northern corridor, there are 4 aircraft: 2 from Malaysia; 1 from Japan; and 1 from the US.

In the southern corridor, there are 25 aircraft: 2 from Malaysia; 5 from Australia; 3 from Chinal; 4 from Indonesia; 2 from India; 4 from Japan; 1 from New Zealand; 2 from South Korea; 1 from the UAE; and 1 from the USA.

All 18 ships are in the southern corridor: 6 from Malaysia; 1 from Australia; 5 from China; And 6 from Indonesia. This deployment includes 6 helicopters: 3 from Malaysia, and 3 from China. Until we are certain that we have located MH370, search and rescue operations will continue in both corridors. I can confirm that Malaysia is sending 2 aircraft to Kazakhstan, and the UK is planning to send 1 ship to the southern corridor.

On what had happened at the Sama-Sama Hotel yesterday where families from China stormed in demanding for more information, Hishammuddin told reporters, “We regret what had happened yesterday”, adding that representatives from the Prime Minister’s department had already spoken to the family members. “We do care for them and we are trying to understand what they are going through, we are getting expert help to deal with the raw emotions,” he said.
He added that the high-level team, mentioned at yesterday’s press conference, will be leaving for Beijing this evening to brief family members there.

6PM: Australia Unable To Locate Possible MH370 Objects

AMSA releases satellite images of objects possibly associated with MH370

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The crew of a Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orion was unable to locate the two objects that satellites spotted in the southern Indian Ocean. A tweet from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said cloud and rain resulted in limited visibility. More aircraft searches will continue.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority general manager John Youn said the objects are indistinct but of "reasonable size" - the largest about 24 meters long (79 feet). They were "probably awash with water and bobbing up and down," he told a press conference. David Gallo, who co-led the search for Air France Flight 447 which crashed in 2009, told CNN: "If that piece of the plane is that big maybe it's the tail section."

The credible breaking news of the satellite images will be on the minds of all of the families, Malaysia's acting transportation minister Hishammuddin Hussein said. "We do care about them, and we understand what they are going through."
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12:20PM: Australia Dispatches Search Planes To Recover Two Possible MH370 Objects

Search area for the Australian search has been reduced to 300,000 square kilometres from 600,000 square kilometres

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Australian search planes have been diverted to find two objects in the southern Indian Ocean "possibly related" to the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

“The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has received information based on satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search,” Abbott told lawmakers in parliament today. “Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified.”

AMSA spokesman John Young says the images indicate that one of the objects measures around 24 metres in length. "The objects are relatively indistinct on the imagery. I don't profess to be an expert in assessing the imagery, but those who are expert indicate they are credible sightings," he said. "The indications to me is of objects that are a reasonable size and probably awash with water bobbing up and down under the surface."

The Prime Minister said he had spoken with his Malaysian counterpart, Najib Razak, and cautioned that the objects had yet to be identified. Mr Abbott said a RAAF Orion has been diverted to find the objects and was expected to reach the area around 2:15 AEDT. He said three more aircraft would follow.

At 10:00 this morning, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak received a call from Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia, informing him that ‘two possible objects related to the search’ for MH370 had been identified in the Southern Indian Ocean. The Australian High Commissioner has also briefed me on the situation. “At this stage, Australian officials have yet to establish whether these objects are indeed related to the search for MH370,” Hishammuddin Hussein.

An object measuring 24 meters in length was found by Australian search planes on 20 March 2014

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An Australian search plane

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10:30AM: Malaysia Deploys KD Kasturi And KD Lekiu To Southern Corridor

The Royal Malaysian Navy's ships KD Kasturi and KD Lekiu sailed for the southern corridor last night to join the search and rescue operation for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 which has now entered the second phase.

KD Kasturi sailed off at 9pm while KD Lekiu followed some 15 minutes later from the Lumut navy jetty operations base here. Altogether, more than 200 officers and navy personnel joined in the mission.

Fleet Operations Commander, vice admiral Datuk Abdul Hadi Abdul Rashid said the vessels formed the third group of assets deployed in the ongoing massive international search for the missing plane. "We will conduct the operation in the southern corridor and south of Christmas Island. "We will focus on the established points and our assets will implement the task of covering up to 1,800 nautical miles," he told reporters after flagging off KD Kasturi and KD Lekiu from the navy base here on Wednesday.

KD Kasturi and KD Lekiu

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Front: Lekiu (Yarrow F2000) Light FFG, KD Lekiu 30, KD Jebat 29. Back: Kasturi (HDW FS1500) Heavy FSG / Light FFG , KD Kasturi 25

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DAY 13, 10AM: Deleted Files On Captain Zaharie's Flight Simulator Turns Out To Be Games As FBI Gets Involved

Captain Zaharie and his flight simulator

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Deleted data in the simulator belonging to Malaysia Airlines Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah (pic), who piloted the MH370 flight which went missing on March 8, was data log from three types of aviation games, according to police.

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said initial investigations found that the data log from the simulator was believed to have been deleted on February 3. "The three games in the simulator were 'flight simulator X', 'flight simulator 9', 'X flight 10'," he told the daily press conference on the updates on the MH370 search and rescue operation, in Sepang, today.

All game logs on the Boeing 777 simulator built by missing MH370 pilot Capt Zaharie Ahmad Shah were deleted on Feb 3 this year - over a month before the Boeing 777 went missing, said Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar. Speaking at a press conference at the Sama-Sama Hotel here Wednesday, Khalid said: "What we found from the simulators is the data log from the games was cleared on Feb 3 so the experts are looking at what was cleared.

The FBI is helping Malaysian authorities to analyse data from a flight simulator belonging to the captain of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, according to a Reuters report. Malaysia has now made available to the FBI electronic data generated by both pilots of Flight MH370, including data from a hard drive attached to the captain's flight simulator, and from electronic media used by the co-pilot, Fariq Abdul Hamid, a US law enforcement official told Reuters.

DAY 12, 9PM: Files Were Recently Deleted From Flight Simulator Of Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah Onboard MH370

Pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah’s Simulator

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Malaysia’s defense minister says files were recently deleted from the home flight simulator belonging to the pilot aboard the missing Malaysian jetliner. Investigators are trying to restore files deleted last month from the home flight simulator of the pilot onboard the missing Malaysian plane to see if they shed any light on the disappearance. He also said that the pilot, Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, is innocent until proven guilty of any wrongdoing.

He said members of Mr Zaharie’s family are cooperating in the investigation. Files containing records of the simulations carried out on the program were deleted on Feb 3, Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu told the news conference.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 with 239 people aboard went missing March 8 on a night flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Malaysian authorities have not ruled out any possible explanations, but have said the evidence so far suggests the flight was deliberately turned back across Malaysia to the Strait of Malacca. They are unsure what happened next.

5:30PM: False Maldives Report, Screaming Women And Other Highlights From The Latest MH370 Press Conference

Search and rescue operations

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Malaysia says 'so far' no red flags on any missing jet passenger. Background checks on nearly all but three of the 239 passengers and crew on board a missing Malaysia Airlines jet have produced no "information of significance". Ukrainian and Russian passengers have not yet been checked.

"Our focus remains the search and rescue operation. We are working on narrowing the search corridor by: - gathering satellite information, analysing radar data, increasing air and surface assets, and increasing the number of technical experts. We are also taking further steps to address the needs of the families at this difficult time."

Accordingly, the main technical team organising the search and rescue operation has been broken into three groups: a diplomatic team, led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; an assets deployment and logistics team led by the Armed Forces; and a technical group retaining overall operational control, which is led by the Department of Civil Aviation.

Meanwhile, on reports that a low fying jumbo jet was sighted in the Maldives on March 8, Hishammuddin said that the Malaysian chief of the defence force has contacted his counterpart there and this claim was proven untrue. He reiterated that the flight flew on a normal routine up until waypoint Igari, and added that there were no additional waypoints on the documented flight plan.

"On the diplomatic front, all 26 countries involved in the search and rescue operation have verbally agreed to assist the operations, and Malaysia has written to all countries formally requesting co-operation. A number of assets which have already been committed are awaiting diplomatic clearance to begin operations. Once we receive formal clearance, we can then speed up the deployment of assets along the search corridors."

"All passengers, crew and ground staff handling the aircraft are being investigated. I would like to take this opportunity to state that the passengers, the pilots and the crew remain innocent until proven otherwise. For the sake of their families, I ask that we refrain from any unnecessary speculation that might make an already difficult time even harder."

"I would like to announce that in addition to the team that is already on the ground, Malaysia is currently assembling a high-level team that will immediately travel to Beijing. The team will give briefings and updates to the next of kin on the latest situation, and on search and rescue plans. The team will include representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Royal Malaysian Air Force, the Department of Civil Aviation, and Malaysia Airlines."
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Incredible scenes as relatives of the passengers knocked to the floor in scuffles outside the media conference room in Kuala Lumpur. Women were forcibly removed after trying to attend plane news conference without permission.

A Chinese family member of a passenger onboard MH370 screams as she is being brought into a room outside the media conference area at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur

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4:50PM: Maldivian Military Radar Picked No Plane Despite Islanders Claiming To Have Spotted A 'Low Flying Jet’

Military radar in the Maldives did not pick up any trace of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, despite reports that islanders has sighted a “low-flying” jet some five hours after the plane went missing on March 8. “Further to the surveillance conducted thus far, none of the military radars in the country have detected a trace of the missing plane,” stated a Maldivian National Defense Force (MNDF) spokesperson.

Remote Islanders In The Indian Ocean Claim They Saw The Missing Malaysia Plane

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The spokesperson, according to The Star, asserted that surveillance is being carried out with “heightened level of vigilance” to find the missing aircraft, and claimed in a statement that even airport radars did not detect the plane passing through.

It was yesterday reported by Maldives' longest serving newspaper Haveeru that residents on the remote island of Kudahuvadhoo reported seeing a "low-flying jumbo jet" at 6.15am on March 8. Eyewitnesses described the aircraft as having "red stripes" and was travelling North to South-East towards Addu City, the southern tip of the island country.

"I've never seen a jet flying so low over our island before. We've seen seaplanes, but I'm sure that this was not one of those. I could even make out the doors on the plane clearly," an eyewitness was quoted as saying. The eyewitness added that the aircraft made a loud noise, prompting several residents to come out of their houses. Haveeru also quoted Mohamed Zaheem, a councilor of Kudahuvadhoo, as saying that residents had raised the alarm about the incident.

SAR team looking for MH370

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A local aviation expert was quoted as saying that the likelihood of any aircraft flying over the island at the reported time was "extremely low". Flight MH370, which took off from Kuala Lumpur destined for Beijing vanished from civilian radar over the Gulf of Thailand with 239 passengers and crew on the early morning hours of March 8.

It was later detected by military radar to have made a turn back, flew westwards and possibly went on in an unknown direction for more than six hours. Malaysian military radar last detected flight MH370 in the Straits of Malacca at 2.14am.

1:50PM: Search Teams Have Only 18 Days Left To Find Black Box Before Its Battery Runs Out

After 12 days and more than 200 hours, the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 jetliner has become a race against time for investigators trying to locate the aircraft’s black box.

The flight data recorder from the 2009 Air France flight that went down in the mid-Atlantic, found in 2011

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ABC News reported that there are only 18 days left for the search teams to locate the most important piece of aviation technology, as it will only transmit a signal for 30 days. The report said the black box has lost a third of its battery life since the plane disappeared on March 8 with 239 people, including 12 crew members, on board.

It will be a daunting task for the search teams to locate the black box before the battery runs out as they scour a search area of 2.24 million square nautical miles, said the American news company. ABC News said if a plane crashes into the water, an underwater locator beacon sends out an ultrasonic pulse that cannot be heard by human ears but can be detected by sonar and acoustic-locating equipment.

MH370 disappeared on March 8 with 239 people, including 12 crew members, onboard

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There is a submergence sensor on the side of the beacon, and when this sensor touches water the beacon activates. The beacon then sends out pulses at 37.5 kilohertz (kHz) and can transmit sound as deep as 4,267 metres. Once the beacon begins “pinging,” it pings once per second for 30 days. In rare and severe crash instances, the beacon may get snapped off during a high-impact collision, the report said.

Search teams must be about 25 kilometres in range of the beacon to locate it. Underwater terrain such as deep trenches could also affect detection of the beacon’s signal, it added.

DAY 12, 11:00AM: Thailand Held MH370 Data For 10 Days Because It Wasn't Specifically Asked To Share It

The military said Tuesday that its radar detected a plane that may have been Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 just minutes after the jetliner's communications went down, and that it didn't share the information with Malaysia earlier because it wasn't specifically asked for it.

A twisting flight path described Tuesday by Vice Marshal Montol Suchookorn took the plane to the Strait of Malacca, which is where Malaysian radar tracked Flight 370 early March 8. But AVM Montol said the Thai military doesn't know whether it detected the same plane.

A woman looks at messages of support left for family members and passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur, on Tuesday.

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Thailand's failure to quickly share possible information regarding the fate of the plane, and the 239 people aboard it, may not substantially change what Malaysian officials know, but it raises questions about the degree to which some countries are sharing their defense information, even in the name of an urgent and mind-bending aviation mystery. With only its own radar to go on, it took Malaysia a week to confirm that Flight 370 had entered the strait, an important detail that led it to change its search strategy.

When asked why it took so long to release the information, Montol said, "Because we did not pay any attention to it. The Royal Thai Air Force only looks after any threats against our country, so anything that did not look like a threat to us, we simply look at it without taking actions." He said the plane never entered Thai airspace and that Malaysia's initial request for information in the early days of the search was not specific.
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"When they asked again and there was new information and assumptions from (Malaysian) Prime Minister Najib Razak, we took a look at our information again," Montol said. "It didn't take long for us to figure out, although it did take some experts to find out about it." Flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur at 12:40 a.m. Malaysian time and its transponder, which allows air traffic controllers to identify and track the airplane, ceased communicating at 1:20 a.m.

Montol said that at 1:28 a.m., Thai military radar "was able to detect a signal, which was not a normal signal, of a plane flying in the direction opposite from the MH370 plane," back toward Kuala Lumpur. The plane later turned right, toward Butterworth, a Malaysian city along the Strait of Malacca. The radar signal was infrequent and did not include any data such as the flight number. He said he didn't know exactly when Thai radar last detected the plane. Malaysian officials have said Flight 370 was last detected by their own military radar at 2:14 a.m.

DAY 11, 7:00PM: FULL Statement Of Hishammuddin's MH370 Press Conference On 18 March

Yesterday I stated that the search for MH370 has entered a new phase, which brings new diplomatic, technical and logistical challenges. Today, I would like to give you an update on the logistical and diplomatic aspects of the search.

Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein

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The search and rescue operations have taken on a new international dimension. The search is still co-ordinated by Malaysia, but our partners have taken an increasing role in organising and carrying out operations, both within their own territory and also within agreed search sectors. My colleague the Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman will give a more detailed statement on our diplomatic efforts in a moment.

On the logistical front, over the past 24 hours we have been working hard with other countries to narrow the search corridors. Our focus is on four tasks: gathering information from satellite surveillance, analysis of surveillance radar data, increasing air and surface assets, and increasing the number of technical and subject matter experts. On satellite surveillance, I cannot disclose who has what satellite capability, but I can confirm we have contacted every relevant country that has access to satellite data.

On analysis of radar data, in the southern corridor Australia and Indonesia have agreed to take the lead of their respective parts of the search corridor. In the northern corridor, China and Kazakhstan have agreed to lead in the search areas closest to their countries. On air and surface assets, I have spoken to almost all ASEAN leaders to request further support, including assets with deep ocean surveillance detection capabilities. We are also asking international partners who have assisted us before to take another look at their primary radar data.

In the northern corridor, we have divided the search area into seven quadrants. Each of the seven quadrants is 400 nautical miles by 400 nautical miles – or 160,000 square nautical miles in total. We have also divided up the southern corridor into seven quadrants. Just like in the north, each quadrant covers an area of 160,000 square nautical miles. The entire search area is now 2.24 million square nautical miles.

Kazakhstan and China are leading the search for MAS flight MH370 in the northern corridor.

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This is an enormous search area. And it is something that Malaysia cannot possibly search on its own. I am therefore very pleased that so many countries have come forward to offer assistance and support to the search and rescue operation.

In terms of the deployment of specific assets: Today, the Royal Malaysian Navy deployed two more ships to the southern corridor. This deployment includes a Super Lynx helicopter, which can operate from either ship. This brings the total number of Malaysian ships deployed to the southern corridor to four; with two Super Lynx helicopters. Today, Malaysia also deployed two C-130 aircraft to the Indonesian sector of the southern search corridor.

Other countries are also contributing the following assets: The United States has deployed one P-8 Poseidon, and will redeploy a P-3 Orion aircraft. Australia, as I mentioned yesterday, has deployed three P-3 Orions and one C-130 Hercules. New Zealand is redeploying a P-3 Orion to support Australian search efforts. The Republic of Korea has committed one P-3 Orion and one C-130 Hercules. Japan has committed two P-3 Orions, two C-130s and one Gulfstream jet. The UAE has committed one C-17 aircraft and one Bombardier Dash-8 aircraft. The assets from Korea, Japan, and the UAE are currently in Malaysia awaiting orders from their respective governments. Aside from deploying its assets to the northern corridor, China has also made arrangements with Australia to deploy an aircraft to the southern corridor.

I would like to clarify what has been said about ACARS and the sequence of events before the air turn back. On Saturday, we stated that – and I quote: “Based on new satellite information, we can say with a high degree of certainty that the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) was disabled just before the aircraft reached the East coast of peninsular Malaysia. Shortly afterwards, near the border between Malaysian and Vietnamese air traffic control, the aircraft’s transponder was switched off.” These findings were drafted together with representatives from the lead international investigators, based on the information available at the time.

Yesterday Malaysia Airlines clarified that we cannot determine exactly when ACARS had been disabled, only that it occurred within a specific time range: from 01:07 – approximately when the aircraft reached the east coast of peninsular Malaysia, and the last ACARS transmission occurred – to 01:37, which was the next scheduled reporting time. That is indeed the case. This does not change our belief, as stated, that up until the point at which it left military primary radar coverage, the aircraft’s movements were consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane. That remains the position of the investigating team.

It is also important to recognise that the precise time ACARS was disabled has no bearing on the search and rescue operation. We know that the last known position of the plane as confirmed by the international investigations team was in either the northern or southern corridors, which is where our search and rescue efforts are focused. Our priority has always been to find the aircraft.

Malaysian Transport Minister new press conference on missing plane

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I am aware there is a lot of interest in the Royal Malaysia Police investigation into the passengers and crew of MH370. I hope you understand that I cannot comment on the specifics of the investigation, which is still on-going. I would also like to state that the search for MH370 is bigger than politics. I urge all Malaysians to put our differences aside and unite during this difficult time as we focus on finding the aircraft and the 239 people on board.

The search for MH370 remains our top priority. We will continue to provide you with operational updates, including further information about assets being deployed, as soon as they are available. In the last few days we have been intensively contacting our friends across the search regions. The co-operation we saw in the first phase continues in this new phase. In fact, there is even more commitment to assist us in this much larger and more complex multinational operation. In the meantime our thoughts remain with the families and friends of those on board.

INFOGRAPHIC: Search For MH370 Enters Daunting New Phase

Search Moves To Two Huge New Areas Spanning Bay Of Bengal

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10:00AM: Taliban, "We Wished We Had An Opportunity To Hijack Such A Plane"

Search and rescue mission

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After eleven days and more than 200 hours of searching, investigators are now baffled by the absence of distress calls from mobile phones of those on board missing flight MH370, said The New York Times. Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahaya said that there have been no evidence "of any number they’re (passengers and crew) trying to contact, but anyway they (investigators) are still checking and there are millions of records for them to process".

NEW DELHI/PESHAWAR: Aviation officials in Pakistan, India and Central Asia as well as Taliban militants said they knew nothing about the whereabouts of a missing Malaysian jetliner after the search for Flight MH370 extended into their territory.

Indian defense officials rejected the possibility of a plane flying for hours above the country undetected. "The idea that the plane flew through Indian airspace for several hours without anyone noticing is bizarre," a defense ministry official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "These are wild reports, without any basis," he said, adding a pilot would have to know the precise location of all Indian radars and surveillance systems to be able to get around them.

Pakistani officials said they had detected nothing suspicious in the skies after the plane vanished. "We have checked the radar recording for the period but found no clue about the ill-fated flight," the Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement.

Central Asian countries Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, at the northern end of the search arc, said no unidentified planes had entered their air space on March 8. "Even if all on-board equipment is switched off, it is impossible to fly through in a silent mode," the Kazakh Civil Aviation Committee said in a statement sent to Reuters. "There are also military bodies monitoring the country's air space."

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban in Afghanistan, who are seeking to oust foreign troops and set up an Islamic state, said the missing plane had nothing to do with them. "It happened outside Afghanistan and you can see that even countries with very advanced equipment and facilities cannot figure out where it went," he said. "So we also do not have any information as it is an external issue."

A commander with the Pakistani Taliban, a separate entity fighting the Pakistani government, said the fragmented group could only dream about such an operation. "We wish we had an opportunity to hijack such a plane," he told Reuters by telephone from the lawless North Waziristan region.

“There is a growing consensus that this was a suicide by the pilot or co-pilot and that they wanted to get as far away and land in the farthest and deepest part of the ocean,” the US lawmaker was quoted as saying, before adding, “If they never find the plane, they can’t call it suicide.”

Japan coast guard

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DAY 11, 9:30AM: US Withdraws Naval Ship USS Kidd From MH370 Search

Crew members on board a United States Navy P-8A Poseidon man their workstations while assisting in search operations for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean on March 16, 2014.

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WASHINGTON: A US naval ship that had been aiding the international search for a missing Malaysian airliner will be withdrawn from the effort, Pentagon officials said Monday.

The decision was taken because the search area was now so extensive that it was more efficient to look for the jet using surveillance aircraft, officials said. "With the search area expanding into the southern Indian Ocean, long range patrol aircraft such as the P-8A Poseidon and P-3C Orion are more suited to the current SAR (search and rescue) mission," the US Pacific Fleet said in a statement.

The guided missile destroyer, the USS Kidd, had joined the massive search last week and had shifted its focus west to the Andaman Sea on the request of the Malaysian government. The Kidd, with a MH-60 helicopter on board, had completed a search of 15,000 square miles but "no debris or wreckage associated with an aircraft was found," it said.

DAY 10, 5:30PM: French Investigators From Air France Probe Join 26 Other Countries In MH370 SAR

A map, provided by Malaysian authorities, of the 'north corridor' search area

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The number of countries involved in the search and rescue operation has increased from 14 to 26. These countries are: Malaysia, Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, China, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Turkmenistan, UAE, UK, US, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

"Yesterday, experts from Civil Aviation Administration of China joined the investigations team. Today, officials from the French Office of Investigations and Analysis for the Safety of Civil Aviation also joined the team. These authorities are working with Malaysia Airlines and the DCA to refine data that can help with the search," Hishammuddin.

Interesting to note that French investigators have been invited to assist the search. Remember they spent two years searching for the wreckage of the Air France plane which crashed over the Atlantic in June 2009.

Prayers For MH370

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Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent diplomatic notes calling for radar and satellite information; land, sea and aerial search operation details; search and rescue action plans for relevant countries and other details of any information required from Malaysia. The notes were sent to all countries along the northern and southern corridors.

MAS CEO Ahmad Jauhari, is being asked about the security checks performed on the pilot before he was permitted to fly. He says they were standard, but are currently being reviewed."Going forward, we will obviously look into this, and see if we can strengthen or tighten the requirements. We are now on "Code Tango", which means a heightened security environment. Extra precautions are currently being taken."

The last words spoken from the cockpit of the plane - All right, good night - are believed to have been spoken by the co-pilot, the airline's top executive says.

A communications system in the plane could have been switched off before or after the last verbal contact with the flight deck. "We don't know when the ACARS system was switched off. What we know is the last transmission," Malaysia Airlines' Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said.

11AM: PKR Dismiss Allegations That MH370 Pilot Captain Zaharie Is A "Political Fanatic"

The Mail's front page news about MH370

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The Mail on Sunday has learned that Zaharie was an ‘obsessive’ supporter of Malaysia’s opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. And hours before the doomed flight left Kuala Lumpur it is understood 53-year-old Zaharie attended a controversial trial in which Ibrahim was jailed for five years, it said.

Police sources confirmed to the daily that Zaharie was a vocal political activist and fear that the court decision left him profoundly upset. It was against this background that, seven hours later, he took control of a Boeing 777-200 bound for Beijing and carrying 238 passengers and crew.

PKR leaders have swiftly dismissed a British tabloid report which claimed MH370 flight captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah is a "political fanatic." PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said the Daily Mail report was "wild allegations" and the paper "is a sensationalist tabloid known for cooking up stories." "These allegations are wild speculation for the moment.

"If there is any concrete data backing up an allegation we will respond to it. If anyone aboard (the flight) chose to attend the Anwar trial that is their right as it was in open court. "We do not want this to be used by unscrupulous parties as an avenue to attack PKR or Pakatan Rakyat component parties," he told The Star Online.

PKR vice-president N. Surendran said there "is not a drop of evidence to support such speculation. It is just a speculation. Let us be fair to the missing captain as well - he cannot answer for himself."

Peter Chong (left) with best friend Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. He is pictured in a T-shirt with a Democracy is Dead slogan as police investigate claims he could have hijacked the plane as an anti-government protest.

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DAY 10, 10AM: Australia, Thai And Indonesian Radars Did Not Detect Missing MH370

Cabin crews of Vietnam Air Force are seen onboard a flying AN-26 Soviet made aircraft during a search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 plane

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Monday said he had no information that missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may have come close to Australia, but conceded the incident was “deeply mysterious”.

Asked whether Australian agencies had detected the plane close to Australia, given its western coast borders the Indian Ocean, Abbott said: "I don't have any information to that effect. "But all of our agencies that could possibly help in this area are scouring their data to see if there's anything that they can add to the understanding of this mystery," he told reporters.

The Royal Thai Air Force today reaffirmed that its radar system did not detect the missing Malaysia Airlines flight following the latest remarks by the Malaysian prime minister that the jetliner was deliberately deviated and announcement of new search corridors cover Kazakhstan to northern Thailand and Indonesia to the South Indian ocean. Thai Air Force spokesman Air Marshal Monthon Sanchukorn said the air force radar system did not record any new data from the MH370.

According to the Wall Street Journal yesterday, Indonesia said its two radar stations in the Aceh province, nearest to where Malaysia lost sight of the Boeing 777-200ER carrying 239 people in the Straits of Malacca, found no indication of the aircraft. “Had the plane entered Indonesian territory, the two radars must have detected it,” First Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto of the Indonesian air force told the WSJ.

DAY 9, 7:00PM: New SAR Operations For MH370 Widens To 11 Countries

The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 will involve vast tracts of lands spanning 11 countries as well as oceans, announced acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein. "From focusing mainly on shallow seas, we are now looking at large tracts of land, crossing 11 countries, as well as deep and remote oceans.

Indonesian national search and rescue agency personnel watch over high seas during a search operation for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the Andaman Sea

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"The number of countries involved in the search and rescue operation has increased from 14 to 25, which brings new challenges of co-ordination and diplomacy to the search effort," he said, adding that the search for MH370 has entered a "new phase". He said this at the Malaysian authority's daily press conference on the search for MH370 at Sama-Sama Hotel, KLIA this evening.
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The new search area comes after Malaysian authorities confirmed that Flight MH370 which disappeared from civilian radar at 1.21am on March 8 over the Gulf of Thailand had made a turn back and flew westward. This information has led the search and rescue operation to quit looking in the South China Sea and focus its attention on a northern corridor from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to the northern Thai border and from Indonesia to south of the Indian Ocean.

2:10PM: BBC Reports That Investigators Are Studying MH370 Pilots' Family Life And Psychological State

Malaysian police have searched the homes of the pilots of the Malaysia Airlines plane that vanished eight days ago with 239 people on board. The police are also reportedly looking at family life and psychological state of pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27.
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This comes after the authorities said the communications systems of the plane had been deliberately disabled. The Kuala Lumpur-Beijing flight is believed to have then changed course. According to satellite evidence, the Boeing 777 could have continued flying for a further seven hours after its last radar contact, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said.

He added that the plane could be anywhere from Kazakhstan to the Indian Ocean. Mr Razak stopped short of saying it was a hijacking, saying only that they were investigating "all possibilities".

An extensive search - involving 14 countries - has so far proved fruitless

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DAY 9, 12:30PM: India Puts Its SAR Operations On Hold For Missing MH370

India on Sunday put on hold its search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at the request of the government in Kuala Lumpur, which wants to reassess the week-old hunt for the Boeing 777 that is suspected of being deliberately flown off course.

A member of a rescue team looks through binoculars

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India had been combing two areas, one around the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and a second, further west, in the Bay of Bengal. Both operations have been suspended, but may yet resume, defence officials said.

"It's more of a pause," said Commander Babu, a spokesman for the country's Eastern Naval Command. "The Malaysian authorities are reassessing the situation. They will figure whether they need to shift the area of search."

Members of a rescue team stand on the deck of a Basarnas rescue ship during a search and rescue operation to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, in the Andaman Sea on March 15, 2014.

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Foreign Envoys Briefed Regarding The Latest Development On The SAR Operations For MH370

Representatives of foreign missions whose citizens were on Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 reported missing last Saturday, were given a briefing on the search and rescue (SAR) operations. The closed-door briefing held for about an hour at Hotel Sama Sama here was delivered by Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin, who was accompanied by Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi.

A relative (L) of passengers from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 speaks to media at a hotel in Beijing on March 15, 2014

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Among the foreign government representatives present included those from China, India, Australia and Brunei. The briefing was held to explain the details of the press conference held by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, this afternoon, relating to the latest developments on the SAR operations for MH370.

6:30PM: Police Search The Home Of Missing MH370's 53-Year-Old Captain

Police began searching the home of the pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight today, after Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed the plane was suspected to have been deliberately diverted, a senior police official told Reuters.
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Police officers arrived at the home of the captain, 53-year-old Zaharie Ahmad Shah in Shah Alam, on Saturday afternoon, shortly after Najib ended his news conference. Zaharie has apparently set up the Boeing 777 simulator at his home. Pictures posted by Zaharie on his Facebook page show a simulator with three computer monitors, a tangle of wires and several panels.
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However, Penang chief police officer Abdul Rahim Hanafi said he had yet to receive orders to search Zaharie's family home in Balik Pulau, Penang. "We have yet to receive instructions from IGP Khalid Abu Bakar to search Zaharie's home here. We have not done it here," he told Malaysiakini.

Zaharie and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, were among the 12-member crew of the plane with 227 passengers on board including five Indians and one Indian-origin Canadian. Outside of aviation, he had a YouTube channel dedicated to DIY projects, where he told viewers how to fix home appliances like air-conditioners.

FULL Press Statement Given By Prime Minister Najib Razak On 15 March 2014

Seven days ago Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared. We realise this is an excruciating time for the families of those on board. No words can describe the pain they must be going through. Our thoughts and our prayers are with them. I have been appraised of the on-going search operation round the clock. At the beginning of the operation, I ordered the search area to be broadened; I instructed the Malaysian authorities to share all relevant information freely and transparently with the wider investigation team; and I requested that our friends and allies join the operation.

Prime Minister Najib Razak at the MH370 press conference on 15 March 2014

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As of today, 14 countries, 43 ships and 58 aircraft are involved in the search. I wish to thank all the governments for their help at such a crucial time. Since day one, the Malaysian authorities have worked hand-in-hand with our international partners – including neighbouring countries, the aviation authorities and a multinational search force – many of whom have been here on the ground since Sunday. We have shared information in real time with authorities who have the necessary experience to interpret the data. We have been working non-stop to assist the investigation. And we have put our national security second to the search for the missing plane.

It is widely understood that this has been a situation without precedent. We have conducted search operations over land, in the South China Sea, the Straits of Malacca, the Andaman Sea and the Indian Ocean. At every stage, we acted on the basis of verified information, and we followed every credible lead. Sometimes these leads have led nowhere. There has been intense speculation. We understand the desperate need for information on behalf of the families and those watching around the world. But we have a responsibility to the investigation and the families to only release information that has been corroborated. And our primary motivation has always been to find the plane.

Prime Minister Najib Razak

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In the first phase of the search operation, we searched near MH370’s last known position, in the South China Sea. At the same time, it was brought to our attention by the Royal Malaysian Air Force that, based on their primary radar, an aircraft – the identity of which could not be confirmed – made a turn back. The primary radar data showed the aircraft proceeding on a flight path which took it to an area north of the Straits of Malacca. Given this credible data, which was subsequently corroborated with the relevant international authorities, we expanded the area of search to include the Straits of Malacca and, later, to the Andaman Sea.

Early this morning I was briefed by the investigation team – which includes the FAA (Federation Aviation Administration), NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board), AAIB (Air Accidents Investigation Branch), the Malaysian authorities and the acting Minister of Transport – on new information that sheds further light on what happened to MH370. Based on new satellite information, we can say with a high degree of certainty that the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) was disabled just before the aircraft reached the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Shortly afterwards, near the border between Malaysian and Vietnamese air traffic control, the aircraft’s transponder was switched off.

From this point onwards, the Royal Malaysian Air Force primary radar showed that an aircraft which was believed – but not confirmed – to be MH370 did indeed turn back. It then flew in a westerly direction back over Peninsular Malaysia before turning northwest. Up until the point at which it left military primary radar coverage, these movements are consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane. Today, based on raw satellite data that was obtained from the satellite data service provider, we can confirm that the aircraft shown in the primary radar data was flight MH370. After much forensic work and deliberation, the FAA, NTSB, AAIB and the Malaysian authorities, working separately on the same data, concur.

According to the new data, the last confirmed communication between the plane and the satellite was at 8:11am Malaysian time on Saturday, March 8. The investigations team is making further calculations which will indicate how far the aircraft may have flown after this last point of contact. This will help us to refine the search. Due to the type of satellite data, we are unable to confirm the precise location of the plane when it last made contact with the satellite. However, based on this new data, the aviation authorities of Malaysia and their international counterparts have determined that the plane’s last communication with the satellite was in one of two possible corridors: a northern corridor stretching approximately from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, or a southern corridor stretching approximately from Indonesia to the southern Indian ocean. The investigation team is working to further refine the information.

Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Tun Razak at the media conference one week after MH370 disappeared

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2:50PM: Najib Says SAR Operation In The South China Sea Has Been Called Off And Assets Will Be Redeployed

The Prime Minister revealed new information that the last confirmed satellite communication of MH370 was at 8.11am on March 8. “Based on new satellite communication, we can say with a high degree of certainty that the aircraft’s ACARS was disabled just before the aircraft reached the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.”
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“Up until the point where it left primary radar coverage, these movements are consistent with deliberate action of someone on the plane. We can confirm that the aircraft shown in the military’s primary radar data was flight MH370.”

“After much forensic work and deliberation, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) and Malaysian authorities, working separately on the same data, concur.” Based on this new information, the Prime Minister confirmed that search and rescue operation in the South China Sea has been called off and assets will be redeployed.
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1:30PM: Malaysian Investigators Conclude MH370 Was Hijacked

A Malaysian government official has confirmed that investigators have concluded that one of the pilots or someone else with flying experience hijacked the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370, wire services are reporting.

Lt. Col Bambang Sudewo, commander of the 5th Air Squadron "Black Mermaids" examines a map following a search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that was conducted over the Strait of Malacca, at Suwondo air base in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia

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No motive has been established and no demands have been made known, and it is not yet clear where the plane was taken, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media. The official said that hijacking was no longer a theory. "It is conclusive," he said.

He said evidence that led to the conclusion were signs that the plane's communications were switched off deliberately, data about the flight path and indications the plane was steered in a way to avoid detection by radar. Meanwhile, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is expected to hold a press conference at 4.30pm AEDT.

The Boeing 777's communication with the ground was severed a little less than one hour into the flight on March 8 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Malaysian officials previously have said radar data suggest it may have turned back toward and crossed over the Malaysian peninsula after setting out on a north-eastern path toward the Chinese capital.

DAY 8, 12:00PM: Military Data Suggests ‘Skilled’ Flyer Deliberately Turned MH370 Towards The Indian Ocean

Malaysian officials now believe that missing MAS flight MH370 may have been deliberately turned towards the Indian Ocean by someone with up-to-date knowledge of flying and radar positions, a senior military official told AFP Saturday.

Malaysian officials believe that the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may have been deliberately turned towards the Indian Ocean by a ‘skilled’ flyer.

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The comments lend credence to growing suspicions that the plane, which disappeared a week ago with 239 passengers and crew, might have been commandeered. “It has to be a skilled, competent and a current pilot,” said the official, who is involved in a vast international search and rescue operation and spoke on condition of anonymity. He said that theory was based on still undisclosed data from military radar.

The radar continued to plot the plane’s course for hours after it vanished from air-traffic control screens and civilian radar, he said. The plane flew in the direction of the Indian Ocean far west of its intended flight path “for four to five hours,” the official said. “He knew how to avoid the civilian radar. He appears to have studied how to avoid it.” The official would not divulge details of the military data, citing an ongoing investigation.

DAY 7, South Korea Joins SAR Mission With Bangladesh Reported To Follow Soon

In a statement made available to Bernama, the embassy said South Korean Ambassador to Malaysia Cho Byung-jae informed Malaysia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the decision today. The South Korean government will be dispatching two aircraft, namely P-3 and C-130 of the South Korea Air Force with 39 supporting personnel, and they were expected to arrive here tomorrow, the statement said.
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Quoting unnamed sources, local news agency Bernama said “Bangladesh will be the latest country to joint the search and rescue mission for missing MAS flight MH370.” The source, which according to Bernama is close to the development of the search and rescue mission said, Bangladesh’s patrol aircraft was launched at dawn today while ships will join tomorrow.
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“All of Bangladesh’s available resources will be deployed to assist Malaysia,” Bernama quoted the unnamed source as saying.

6:30PM: MH370 Search Team Increases To 13 Countries, 57 Ships, And 48 Aircrafts

A pilot on a Vietnamese air force plane uses a map to help search Vietnam's southern sea for missing flight MH370. The hunt spread to the vast Indian Ocean after the White House cited ‘new information’ that it might have flown for hours after vanishing nearly seven days ago

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"We are now entering the seventh day of the search for MH370. There are currently 57 ships and 48 aircraft in the search. Thirteen countries are now involved. Our priority remains finding the plane. We are following all leads, and we continue to work closely with our international partners. We are grateful for the support of our friends and neighbours, who continue to assist us by sharing their data and their resources as we search for MH370. I speak for the Malaysian people when I say that our hearts are with the families and the friends of those on board the plane," Hishammuddin.

In today’s press conference at the Sama-Sama Hotel, acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein reaffirmed that the search and rescue operation for MH370 is being intensified, with the search area being expanded.
He confirmed that the search area is moving further in the South China Sea and further past the Andaman, into the Indian Ocean.

“I understand search should become narrower, but this is not a normal investigation. We have been forced to look further and further,” he said. “At present, 13 countries are involved in the search and rescue operation, and our priority remains to find MH370 and we are following all leads,” he told reporters. “We are grateful for the support given by these nations and for the sharing of their data and resources as we search for MH370.”

The civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman told the press conference aviation experts from the UK, including from Rolls-Royce, were due to arrive in Malaysia to help in the investigation. “They indicated that they are studying the possibility of satellite communication, and will share it with us,” he said.

During that press conference Hussein quoted Rolls-Royce saying that a report in the Wall Street Journal claiming the plane had sent signals hours after it lost contact with air traffic control were inaccurate. The WSJ has since published a correction saying the signals came from a separate communication device from the engines.

This is the projected flight path of MH370 based on military radar after it first disappeared from civilian radar at the Igari waypoint, as reported by Reuters.

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4:30PM: Reuters Reports MH370 May Have Deliberately Flown Towards The Andaman Sea

Royal Malaysia Navy officers in discussions to ensure the search and rescue efforts runs smoothly. Read more: MISSING MH370: Pix Gallery Day 6 - Latest - New Straits Times

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Military radar-tracking evidence suggests a Malaysia Airlines (MASM.KL) jetliner missing for nearly a week was deliberately flown across the Malay peninsula towards the Andaman Islands, sources familiar with the investigation told Reuters on Friday.

Two sources said an unidentified aircraft that investigators believe was Flight MH370 was following a route between navigational waypoints - indicating it was being flown by someone with aviation training - when it was last plotted on military radar off the country's northwest coast.

The last plot on the military radar's tracking suggested the plane was flying toward India's Andaman Islands, a chain of isles between the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, they said. Waypoints are geographic locations, worked out by calculating longitude and latitude, that help pilots navigate along established air corridors.

A third source familiar with the investigation said inquiries were focusing increasingly on the theory that someone who knew how to fly a plane deliberately diverted the flight, with 239 people on board, hundreds of miles off its intended course from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. "What we can say is we are looking at sabotage, with hijack still on the cards," said that source, a senior Malaysian police official.

All three sources declined to be identified because they were not authorised to speak to the media and due to the sensitivity of the investigation.

A military officer works on a map onboard a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN235 aircraft during a search and rescue operation to find the missing MH370

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DAY 7, 10:00AM: From The South China Sea, US Navy Is Now Moving To The Indian Ocean To Search For Signs Of MH370

#MH370 could be anywhere in this huge circle

Image via Business Insider

The USS Kidd (DDG-100), currently sailing to the suspected crash site of the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) plane MH370 in the Indian Ocean, is one of 62 guided missile destroyers of the Arleigh Burke class, designed for anti-aircraft, anti-submarine and anti-surface operations.

It was been deployed to join its sister ship, the USS Pinckney (DDG-91) on March 10, after the Pinckney was diverted from a training mission in the South China Sea on March 8 to assist with the search and rescue operations.

The focus of search efforts shifted from the South China Sea after the White House said "new information" indicated the plane may have gone down to the west in the Indian Ocean. "The USS Kidd is transiting the Strait of Malacca en route to the Indian Ocean," a navy official told AFP, referring to a guided-missile destroyer initially deployed to the Gulf of Thailand.

Seven days since flight MH370 fell off the radar, two senior US defence officials are now convinced there was “manual intervention” that led to the shutdown of two communication systems aboard the jumbo jet that happened separately.

US broadcasting network ABC News cited one of the military officials as saying the information indicates the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) plane did not fall out of the sky due to a catastrophic failure of its systems, a theory that had been previously floated after the Boeing 777-200 vanished without a trace. The report also cited US investigators saying the two modes of communication were “systematically shut down”.

How Are Your Social Media Posts Affecting The Families And Friends Of MH370 Passengers?

DAY 6, What The Biggest Search And Rescue Mission In The World Looks Like

The search and rescue mission for the missing MH370 aircraft with the Malaysian army leading efforts

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6.10PM: China Released The Debris Pictures By Mistake And Hishammuddin Assures SAR Missions At Full Force

Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein on the MH370 press conference, 13 March

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Boeing did not receive any data from the missing MH370 as alleged earlier by the Wall Street Journal. This was disclosed by MAS CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya during the press conference at the Sama-Sama Hotel at 5.30pm today.

Reports that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 flew a few hours after its last reported position are inaccurate, Malaysia's Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said on Thursday.

Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein on the MH370 press conference, 13 March

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Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein says, "This was completely unprecedented, MH370 went missing over the ocean. We're devoting all our energy with our task at hand. Malaysia has nothing to hide. We have spared all efforts. From day one, we have accepted help from countries. Malaysia is NOT slowing down search."

Mr Hishammuddin also said the publication of satellite image of objects suspected to be the debris of missing Malaysia Airline MH370 was an “accident”. He said that China had told Malaysia the satellite photos were released “by mistake and did not show any debris.

"The last transmission was at 1.07am, on 8 March 2014, everything was normal. Rolls Royce and Boeing teams are in KL, working with MAS since Sunday."

The earlier released image of debris found by China was released by mistake, says acting Transport Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein

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3:13PM: US Investigators Say MH370 May Have Been Airborne For About 4 Hours After Last Point Of Contact

In action: a member of the earch and rescue mission for MH370

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Adding to the deepening mystery surrounding the fate of the plane and 239 people on board, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that US investigators suspect the aircraft flew for about four hours after reaching its last confirmed location under conditions that remain murky.

Boeing, the maker of the 777-200 MAS aircraft that went missing since Saturday was reported to have disclosed information that MH370 was airborne for five hours after air traffic controllers lost contact with it. The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed security officials and aviation investigators from the US who said the data was downloaded automatically and transmitted to the ground from the plane’s engines as part of its maintenance and monitoring program.

But the huge uncertainty about where the plane was headed, and why it apparently continued flying so long without working transponders, has raised theories among investigators that the aircraft may have been commandeered for a reason that appears unclear to U.S. authorities. Some of those theories have been laid out to national security officials and senior personnel from various U.S. agencies, according to one person familiar with the matter.

As part of its maintenance agreements, Malaysia Airlines transmits its engine data live to Rolls-Royce for analysis. The system compiles data from inside the 777’s two Trent 800 engines and transmits snapshots of performance, as well as the altitude and speed of the jet.

DAY 6, 10:30AM: MH370 Search Plane Sent To Verify Three Large Floating Objects Spotted On China Satellite Images

Image of suspected debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in South China Sea


Image of suspected debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in South China Sea


Image of suspected debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in South China Sea


A map with a pin at 105.63 degrees longitude East and 6.7 degrees latitude North, where images of suspected debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was captured by a Chinese satellite.

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China said its satellites have detected three large floating objects in a suspected crash site near where a missing Malaysian jet lost contact, the latest twist in a hunt which entered its sixth day on Thursday.

According to them, the site 105.63°E, 6.7°N showed three suspected floating objects, sized 13m x 18m, 14m x 19m and 24m x 22m. This site is a very possible location for MH370 – more verification is being done at this point in time.

Vietnam has already searched the area where Chinese satellites showed objects that could be debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 but a plane has been sent to check the area again, Vietnamese military officials said.

“We are aware and we sent planes to cover that area over the past three days," Deputy Transport Minister Pham Quy Tieu told Reuters. “Today a (military) plane will search the area again,” he said.

"Bombardier has already been dispatched to investigate alleged claims of debris being found by Chinese satellite imagery," Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said on his Twitter feed, on the sixth day of the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 and the 239 people on board.

DAY 5, 11:50PM: Mashable Reports That An Oil Rig Worker "Saw The MAS MH370 Come Down"

An oil rig worker working off the south-eastern coast of Vietnam claims to have witnessed the crash of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. In a email sent to his employer, which was acquired, confirmed, and then shared by the ABC journalist Bob Woodruff, the man says, "I believe I saw the Malaysian Airlines plane come down. The timing is right."

Vietnamese officials reportedly confirmed they got the letter, but found nothing in the water.

He describes seeing what he believes to be the plane burning — in one piece — at high altitude, flying perpendicular to the standard plane routes that cross over the area. "From when I first saw the burning (plane) until the flames went out (still at high altitude) was 10-15 seconds. There was no lateral movement, so it was either coming toward our location, stationary, or going away from our location," he writes.

11:30PM: A Fleet Of Earth-Monitoring Satellites Join The Search For Missing MH370

A fleet of Earth-monitoring satellites has joined the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the organisers of the satellite pool said on Wednesday. China on Tuesday requested activation of the so-called International Charter on Space and Major Disasters, the organisation said on its website.

A member of the Indonesian Air Force at the Medan city military base inspects the Indonesian military search operation for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 on March 12, 2014 in the area of the Malacca Strait

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Under the agreement, 15 space agencies or national space institutes help emergency or relief efforts by passing on images from satellites flying over the location. "Satellite imagery is now being employed to search for any evidence of the plane, both before and after it disappeared," the website said. "As of 12 March 2014, the search remains ongoing."

"They are providing high-resolution data," a European Space Agency (ESA) official, whose organisation is a charter member, told AFP. He was unable to say which geographical areas were being covered.

The Charter, which took effect in 2000, has been activated more than 400 times, but this is the first time it has been called in to help the search for a missing aircraft, according to records of its operations. It has been mostly used in the aftermath of earthquakes and floods when rescue teams needed to identify badly damaged zones or roads, railways and bridges that are still passable. It was invoked last November to aid swathes of the Philippines ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan.

6:30PM: There Was An Unidentified Plot Detected On Primary Military Radar 322km Southwest Of Penang On 8 March 2014

Royal Malaysian Air Force chief General Tan Sri Rodzali Daud Read more: MISSING MH370: Radar showed missing plane may have turned back

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An unidentified aircraft was detected 200 miles (322km) northwest of Penang at 2.15am early Saturday morning, along the Straits of Malacca and they are looking into it, according to Air Force chief General Tan Sri Rodzali Daud. The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said that the radar could not identify the plane, only its presence. This was why search and rescue operations were split early on between the Gulf of Thailand and the west side of Peninsular Malaysia.

Civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman confirmed that defence radar picked up an “indication” that the plane turned back. He said this was why the search operation had been extended to the Andaman sea. Hussein stressed this was just a “possibility”.

Malaysia’s air force chief has denied making a statement that said the plane was tracked by military radar off course to a location near the Strait of Malacca. Rodzali Daud said the reports were untrue, but added that the navy “has not ruled out the possibility of an air turn back on a reciprocal heading.”

A chart of the possible flight path of the MH370

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This would be 45 minutes after the Boeing 777-200 lost contact with air traffic control about 100 miles from Kota Baru at 1.31am Saturday. It had taken off for Beijing at 12.41am Saturday from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

6:20PM: Ministers Emphasise On "Possibilities" And "Consistency" In Most Intense MH370 Press Conference Yet

Ministers Emphasise On "Possibility" And "Consistency" In Most Intense MH370 Press Conference Yet

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"Our immediate focus is to find the aircraft and the black box." The ministers are emphasising on the 'POSSIBILITY' of MH370 turning back to the straits of Malacca. "We said there is a possible turn back because we are corroborating with all the available radars."

Twelve countries are now involved in the search, he said. Asked about the lack of transparency. “China obviously feels aggrieved because so many of their nationals are involved ... it will not changes our focus.” He added: “We have not found anything but we are expanding it further.”

Asked whether they were satisfied with the safety of the Boeing 777, Rahman stressed that the plane had passed a safety inspection. “All our planes are airworthy”, an official added. Pressed on whether the authorities were aware of a known fault with the Boeing the official said he would have to check.

Hishammudin denies any confusion in the sharing of SAR information. "We have been consistent". "This #MH370 PC is to clarify that the information that we've been saying for the last 3 days is consistence, that we have nothing to hide," Hishammudin.

MAS clears the confusion about the five passengers that did not board the MH370 flight: Four passengers did not turn up for the MH370 flight. There was no checked-in baggage. Four standby passengers then replaced them.

Britain’s engine manufacturer Rolls Royce has offered technical help, an official confirmed.

3.30PM: Life Raft Found Near PD On 11 March Sank Back Into Sea After Fishermen Surrendered It To MMEA

The life raft found by a group of fishermen 10 nautical miles from Port Dickson yesterday Read more: MISSING MH370: Hopes as fishermen find life raft near PD - Latest

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Sekumpulan nelayan mendakwa menemui satu objek menyerupai rakit penyelamat kapal terbang ketika menangkap ikan, kira-kira 10 batu nautika dari pantai di sini, tengah hari semalam.

A group of fishermen found a life raft bearing the word “Boarding” 10 nautical miles from Port Dickson town at 12pm yesterday. One of the fishermen, Azman Mohamad, 40, said they found the badly damaged raft floating and immediately notified the Kuala Linggi Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) in Malacca for assistance to lift the raft as it was very heavy.

"We managed to tie it to our boat as we feared it would sink due to the damages," he said. When the MMEA boat arrived, the fishermen then handed over the raft into their custody. However, a Kuala Linggi MMEA spokesman said the raft sunk into the sea while they were trying to bring the raft onboard.

The fisherman and the life raft discovered near Port Dickson at 12pm, 11 March 2014

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Objectives of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency in the Prime Minister's Department (MMEA) : To ensure Malaysian Maritime Zone is safe and peaceful to maritime communities. To minimize loss of lives and properties at sea based on a set standard. To establish an effective and effecient search and rescue cooperation in the region. To establish a conductive working environment that facilitates cooperation between the international maritime communities and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

1:30PM: Malaysia Civil Aviation Officials Reveal Last Words Heard From Pilot Of Missing MH370

The last words from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 were “Alright, good night”, according to Malaysian government officials at a meeting with relatives of passengers in Beijing.

Chinese relatives of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane leave a hotel room after meeting with Malaysian officials, in Beijing, China Wednesday, March 12, 2014.

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The flight then disappeared from radar screens, said Malaysia's civil aviation officials at the meeting fronted by its envoy to China, Datuk Iskandar Sarudin, and held in a packed room with nearly 400 relatives at the Metropark Lido hotel.

Anxious and angry over their loved one's unknown fate and lack of progress in locating the plane, the family members on Tuesday had requested for the meeting with the Malaysian government to seek answers to their questions . But for close to two hours, the morning meeting ended with more questions than answers.

First meeting between #Malaysia govt and nearly 400 relatives of #MH370 passengers ended after almost two hours

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The aviation officials said MH370's last heard words were made in response after Malaysian air traffic controllers told the cockpit that they were entering Vietnamese airspace and that air traffic controllers from Ho Chi Minh city were taking over.

11:00AM: Malaysia Air Force Chief Denies Missing MH370 Was Detected On Radar Over The Strait Of Malacca

As the search for the missing flight MH370 continues for the fifth straight day, Malaysia's air force chief has denied saying military radar had tracked the lost passenger jet turning back and flying to the Strait of Malacca.

The pro-government Berita Harian daily had quoted General Tan Sri Rodzali Daud (pic below) as saying military radar at the Butterworth air force base believed it was tracking the Boeing 777-200ER jet until it disappeared at 2.40am last Saturday.

General Tan Sri Rodzali Daud

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"I wish to state that I did not make any such statements as above. What occurred was that the Berita Harian journalist asked me if such an incident occurred as detailed in their story. However, I did not give any answer to the question. Instead, what I said to the journalist was, 'Please refer to the statement which I made on 9 March 2014, during the press conference with the Chief of Defence Forces at the Sama-Sama Hotel, Kuala Lumpur International Airport'," the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) chief said in a statement late last night.

Hours after his statement was carried by the Malay daily, the Reuters news agency flashed a report quoting a military source as saying the RMAF had tracked the flight to the Strait of Malaccca which is one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. But Rodzali's statement has only covered the Malay daily's report and did not mention the Reuters report.

"I request this misreporting be amended and corrected to prevent further misinterpretations of what is clearly an inaccurate and incorrect report," he said in his six-paragraph statement.

DAY 5, 10:30AM: India Joins SAR Mission, Vietnam Freezes Their Search And Thailand Might Withdraw Soon

Ships of the Indian Navy that are on patrol in the Straits of Malacca are participating in the search and rescue (SAR) operations for the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH370 which went missing last Saturday.
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The Indian Navy's satellite Rukmini or GSAT-7 has also been activated to pick up any clue that may lead investigators to the missing aircraft, Indian Media reported. The SAR operations for the aircraft entered its fifth day today.

He explained that no additional vessels were needed as a close search had already been conducted in the area assigned to the Thai Navy - in the Andaman Sea from Langkawi Island to Pangkor Island off Malaysia’s Perak state. He said the search could be temporarily put on hold if there were no sign of further progress.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese authorities froze search and rescue activities for the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 today, after reports arose that the plane was last spotted over the Straits of Malacca in Malaysia.

Vietnam Deputy Transport Minister Pham Quy Tieu holding a press conference at Phu Quoc airpor

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Vietnam’s deputy transport minister Pham Quy Tieu also complained today that a Malaysian official with whom Vietnam is liaising, was not providing sufficient information. He did not, however, identify the person.

“We are temporarily suspending search and rescue activities, although there will still be a few planes going out,” Pham told reporters here today.

The search by the Royal Thai Navy in Thai-Malaysian waters for missing MAS flight MH370 might end soon if no progress is seen, a senior Navy commander said Tuesday. However, the operation would resume if requested by Malaysian authorities, said Vice Admiral Taratorn Kajitsuwan, chief of the Third Naval Area Command.

He explained that no additional vessels were needed as a close search had already been conducted in the area assigned to the Thai Navy - in the Andaman Sea from Langkawi Island to Pangkor Island off Malaysia's Perak state.

DAY 4, Malaysian Military Reveals The Missing MH370 Was Tracked By Radar Over The Strait Of Malacca

In a strange twist, Malaysia's military believes it tracked the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 by radar over the Strait of Malacca, far from where it last made contact with civilian air traffic control over the Gulf of Thailand.

A military source confirmed with Reuters that the Boeing 777-200ER with 239 on board changed course and made it to the other side of the Malay peninsula."It changed course after Kota Baru and took a lower altitude. It made it into the Malacca Straits," the military official, who has been briefed on investigations, told Reuters.

The Straits of Malacca, one of the world's busiest shipping channels, runs along Malaysia's west coast. The airline said on Saturday that the flight carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew last had contact off the east coast Malaysian town of Kota Baru.

The Berita Harian newspaper was the first to report this development, quoting the Royal Air Force Malaysia (RMAF) chief General Tan Sri Rodzali Daud as saying they tracked the signal to Pulau Perak on the country's west coast.

"The last time the plane could be traced by an air control tower was near Pulau Perak, which is on the Straits of Malacca at 2.40am. After that, the signal from the plane was lost," he said.

This contradicts earlier reports that the aircraft had disappeared from radar screens 120 nautical miles off Kota Bharu and over the South China Sea, at 1.30am on 8 March.

"There's No Such Thing" That Five Passengers Did Not Board MH370 Says IGP

The IGP at the MH370 press conference, 3pm, 11 March 2014

Image via Astro Awani

The police chief has also contradicted the earlier statement made by Malaysia’s aviation chief on Monday that five people did not board the plane. In no uncertain terms he said: “There is no such thing as five person who did not board the plane. There is no such thing.”You take it from me, there were no such thing. Nobody booked the ticket that did not board.”

We are looking into four areas: one; hijacking, two; sabotage, three; psychological problems of the passengers and crew and four; personal problems among the passengers and crew.”

The missing plane may have tried to head to another airport, according to an announcement from Malaysia airlines on Tuesday. The search area has again been expanded as it entered a fourth day.

4.20PM: Official Images Of Two With Stolen Passports Onboard MH370 Released

The authorities have released the photos of the two illegal passport suspects onboard MH370

Image via BFM

We have identified an Iranian by the name of Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad. He is 19 years old and he is an Iranian, we believe that he is an Iranian,” he said. “We have been checking his background. He have also checked him with other police organisation on his profile and we believe that he is not likely to be a member of any terrorist group.”

19-year-old Iranian Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad believed to be Iranian is not likely to be linked to terrorism

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10:30AM: MH370 Search Area Now Pans From Hong Kong To Sumatra

MH370 search area

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Searchers are scouring more than 500,000 square nautical miles from the shores of Sumatra to Hong Kong to look for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 today as lead after lead failed to pan out over the past three days since the passenger jet vanished.

The flotilla of naval ships and some three dozen aircraft will comb both sea and the jungle-clad Malaysian-Thai border for the lost Boeing 777-200ER jet with 239 people onboard.

A Chinese coast guard (bottom) and a Malaysian navy ship patrolling the waters during search and rescue operations for the missing MH370 in the waters off the northeastern coast of the peninsula.

Image via Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency

DAY 4, 10AM: Maker Of MH370 Aircraft Joins The Search As A Technical Advisor

A statement from Boeing

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Boeing said Monday it has joined an official US team investigating the still-mysterious disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines 777 aircraft, feared to have plunged into the Gulf of Thailand.

Boeing said it would act as technical advisor to the US National Transportation Safety Board team already in Southeast Asia to offer assistance. Boeing said in a statement that it "continues to offer its thoughts and deepest concern to the families of those aboard Malaysia Airlines flight 370, which went missing on March 8."

The Malaysia Airlines plane that went missing Saturday on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing was a Boeing 777, a model which up to now has seen only one fatal crash. In the sole fatal crash involving the planes, a Boeing 777-200 operated by South Korea’s Asiana Airlines skidded off the runway upon landing at San Francisco’s international airport in July 2013, with three dead as a result.

A Boeing 777

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DAY 3, 9:00PM: Oil Slicks Test Results, Unhappy China And 40 Ships In MH370 Search And Rescue

The area being searched by air and sea covers hundreds of kilometres

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Nine countries are now taking part in the search, which Rahman said covered the area within a 50 nautical mile radius of the aircraft’s last known position and the northern Straits of Malacca in case the plane had turned back.

Forty ships are working round the clock, while 34 aircraft are working during daylight hours. Potential sightings of aircraft debris by Vietnamese searchers have not been verified, Rahman said.

"We... have a responsibility to demand and urge the Malaysian side to step up [its] search efforts, start an investigation as soon as possible and provide relevant information to China correctly and in a timely manner," said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang. Patience appears to be wearing thin in the search for the missing airplane, says the BBC's Celia Hatton in Beijing.

The Malaysian authorities are attempting to address Chinese concerns - they have reissued a pledge to fly worried family members to Kuala Lumpur so they can be closer to the search efforts, our correspondent adds.

The oil slicks found off the coast of Malaysia during the search for Flight MH370 were not caused by the missing jet, authorities have said. Laboratory analysis on the oil, which was first spotted on Saturday night, found that it had nothing to do with the Malaysia Airlines jet that disappeared almost three days ago, Malaysian officials have confirmed.

He added that debris has been spotted south of Hong Kong and ships have been deployed to the area to confirm it, adding that the findings could be known tomorrow.
“We will intensify search to 100 nautical miles around Igari.”

8:15PM: Suspects With Stolen Passports Are NOT Asian-Looking But May Look Like Mario Balotelli

8pm, 10 March live press conference

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Asked to clarify the appearance of passengers on stolen passports, Rahman bizarrely suggested they looked like the black Italian footballer Mario Balotelli. The men travelling on stolen passports “were not Asian looking”, Rahman said.

Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman suggested suspects holding stolen passports looked like Italian footballer Mario Balotelli

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5.40PM: One Of Two Suspects Who Used Stolen Passport Has Been Identified

Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar

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"I can confirm that he is not a Malaysian, but cannot divulge which country he is from yet," said Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar. Khalid added that both suspects had no record of entering the country legally.

Two passengers who board MH370 with fake European passports were not Chinese - Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

Hishammuddin also made a plea to the media not to disseminate unverified news.
“The authorities have nothing to hide and are sharing every news as it comes in,” he said.

Yellow Object Was Moss-Covered Cap Of A Cable Reel While Experts 100% Sure Oil Slick Was Not Jet Fuel

The object has been identified as a moss-covered cap of a cable reel

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“It has salvaged the object, at the notice and request by Malaysia’s rescue centre, 130 km southwest of Tho Chu island. The object has been identified as a moss-covered cap of a cable reel,” the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam said on its website.

The test conducted on the oil slick sample showed that it was not jet fuel, but ship fuel.
According to Bernama, the results were announced by the East Coast Marine enforcement chief Datuk Nasir Adam.

Experts are '100 per cent sure' that the oil slicks found at South China Sea came from other sources and not from the missing Malaysian Airlines (MAS) MH370 aircraft. “While I am not 100% certain that the slick is from a tanker, I am 100% certain that it is not aircraft fuel,” said the source

4:47PM: 17,880 Fishermen On 1,788 Fishing Vessels To Help Search For Missing MH370

1,800 Fishermen Roped In To Help Search For Missing MH370

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Almost 1,800 fishing vessels in the South China Sea and Straits of Malacca have been told to assist in the search and rescue efforts of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

‎Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob‎ said 1,788 fishing vessels from five states, namely Kelantan, Terengganu, Perlis, Perak and Penang, have been told to report sightings of unusual objects to the Ministry to assist in the search of the aircraft.

‎Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob‎ said the grade C2 vessels, amounting 17,880 crewmen are from Kelantan, Terengganu, Perak, Perlis and Penang. "The fishermen are expert and familiar with the areas. We wish they can give a lead to the mystery incident.

"Although we have our police and army who are professionals, these fishermen are very experienced at sea and they know the sea very well," he said adding that each vessel had an average of 10 crew members that would make a total of 17,000 to 20,000 fisherman helping rescue efforts.

"If they find anything unusual while carrying out their daily works, they can report to the relevant authorities," he told the media after visiting the families of missing passengers at Everly Hotel here today.

"Our Indonesian counterpart has agreed to assist us. They are organising fishermen from areas such as Acheh and Medan to help us. We are also contacting the Thai and Vietnamese side," added Ismail Sabri.

4:30PM: MH370 Search And Rescue Investigates Floating Yellow Object Resembling Life Raft

BREAKING: Seeming life raft spotted in reported MH370 crash site

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A Singapore aircraft has just spotted an orange object, appearing to be an airplane life raft or life vest, in the waters believed to be the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that vanished on the weekend, according to Tuoi Tre’s on-the-scene reporters.

Acting transport minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein told a press conference at the Sama-Sama Hotel in Sepang that authorities are currently in touch with its Vietnamese counterparts to verify on reports that say a floating object was spotted in the sea.

The SAR operation involved MAS, the Department of Civil Aviation, Royal Malaysian Air Force, Royal Malaysian Navy, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, the Butterworth-based Integrated Area Defence System (IADS) headquarters and with the assistance of agencies from Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, China and the United States Pacific Command (USPC), based in Hawaii.

IADS headquarters administers the five-power defence pact involving Malaysia, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, while United States Pacific Command has a flotilla of warships and aircraft carriers scouring the Pacific Ocean in search of the Boeing 777-200ERs.

3:15PM: CCTV Footage Of Captain And Co-Pilot At KLIA Surfaces

CCTV footage showing co-pilot Fariq Hamid in KLIA before MH370's departure

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Malaysian Authorities Have A CCTV Footage Of The Two Passengers Using Stolen Passports

The director-general of the Department of Civil Aviation, Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, was grilled by the international media over two people with stolen passports who are listed on the passenger manifest

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Director-General of Malaysia's civil aviation body, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, said last night that Malaysian investigators were looking at CCTV footage of two passengers who boarded the plane with stolen passports. "The video of the two passengers is now being looked at," he said in Kuala Lumpur. "We are looking at all angles and all possibilities."

"We have CCTV recordings of them from check-in until boarding and departure," he said at a press conference on Sunday.

Mr Azaruddin also confirmed that five passengers did not board the MH370 flight, and their baggage were removed from the cargo. He did not say why they did not board the plane.

12:00PM: 60 Hours Since MH370 Disappeared And No Sightings Till Date

DCA director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman.

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34 aircrafts, 40 ships, over 100 men, and over 1,000 man hours have been deployed in the search and rescue operations to locate the missing MH370. Air search are conducted daily from 7am to 7pm, throughout the night. "We are mystified. MAS is helping us, experts around the world are helping us." DCA director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman assures the search and rescue efforts will be intensified.

"Our boys in the rescue control centre, in the aircraft, on the ships are trying their best to locate the aircraft. Every minute, every hour, every second looking at every inch of the sea," DCA director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman.

DCA director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman denies any sightings of the MH370 Boeing 777 aircraft. He confirms that the Vietnamese spotted debris believed to be from the MH370 aircraft but the reports were not verified officially by the Vietnamese government. There are no confirmation of sighting of MH370 wreckage to date.

With regards to reports on the Vietnamese finding a door panel believed to be part of the aircraft, the DCA said this hasn’t been confirmed by the Vietnamese authorities. “There are reports of tail of the aircraft being found but it was discovered to be logs after we dispatched our assets to look into it.”

When asked about possibilities of hijacking, DCA says they looking at every aspect of what could have happened on the ill-fated aircraft. "We have to have concrete evidence. We have to get the aircraft, we have to find the aircraft and we are intensifying our efforts to locate the aircraft."

Meanwhile, Azharuddin confirmed that the oil slick obtained from the South China Sea is being tested. He reiterated that from the time the aircraft lost contact, no signal was received from it.

11:20AM: Australia Sends Second Aircraft To Join MH370 Search And Rescue Operations

Rosmah sharing a moment with one of the families of those onboard MH390

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Australia this morning sent a second RAAF aircraft from Darwin to join the search for a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER that has been missing since early Saturday. Australia sent an RAAF AP-3C Orion on Sunday night and a second aircraft left Darwin at 8.30 am (AEDT) on Monday, the Australian Associated Press reported.

Air Marshal Mark Binskin said the maritime patrol and long-range surveillance aircraft were equipped with sensors and electro-optic detectors that were ideal for the operation. There are 18 Australian crew on board each RAAF jet.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has been in touch with her Malaysian counterpart to offer Australia's support. She said the reports of stolen passports were concerning. "There may be no connection at all but it is a worrying development," Bishop told ABC radio on Monday. "Our officials are in urgent and ongoing contact with authorities in Malaysia."

France's air accident board, which led a three-year investigation into the 2009 loss of an Air France jet in the Atlantic, has offered to help Malaysia and Vietnam with the recovery of a missing Malaysia Airlines plane. "We have communicated to Malaysian and Vietnamese authorities that we are ready to assist with the underwater search operations or recovery of wreckage," a spokeswoman for the Paris-based BEA accident investigation branch said on Sunday.

Photos From Day 3 Of Missing MH370 Search And Rescue Operations

Search and rescue operations widen to a radius of 50 from 20 nautical miles. Photo released by Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

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Reporters on a search flight over the southern sea of Vietnam where the MH370 went missing

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Two more Chinese warships to join Royal Malaysian Navy Ships search for missing MH370

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A Navy SH-60R Seahawk departs USS Pinckney on Sunday in search for missing Flight MH370

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Vietnamese military personnel prepare a helicopter for a search and rescue mission for the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 off Vietnam's southern coastline, at a military base on the southern island of Phu Quoc on March 10, 2014.

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9:30AM: Officials Mull Mid-Air Disintegration As Search For Missing MH370 Expands To Malacca

NASA satellite image of seas where Malaysia flight disappeared.

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With 34 aircrafts and 40 vessels from Operations the search has expanded from 20 nautical miles to 50 nautical miles, some 120 nautical miles east of Kota Baru. Based on information provided by the Royal Malaysian Air Force chief Tan Sri Rodzali Daud, who stated of a possible turn back to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) as per radar records, the search has now been expended to include the West Coast Straits of Malacca.

Officials investigating the disappearance of a Malaysian airliner with 239 people on board are narrowing the focus of their inquiries on the possibility that it disintegrated mid-flight, a senior source said on Sunday. Asked about the possibility of an explosion, such as a bomb, the source said there was no evidence yet of foul play and that the aircraft could have broken up due to mechanical issues.

Search teams have not been able to make any confirmed discovery of wreckage in seas beneath the plane's flight path almost 48 hours after it took off. "The fact that we are unable to find any debris so far appears to indicate that the aircraft is likely to have disintegrated at around 35,000 feet," said the source, who is involved in the preliminary investigations in Malaysia.

If the plane had plunged intact from such a height, breaking up only on impact with the water, search teams would have expected to find a fairly concentrated pattern of debris, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the investigation. The source was speaking shortly before Vietnamese authorities said a military plane had spotted an object at sea suspected to be part of the missing airliner.

9:00AM: Vietnamese Officials Say Door Of Missing MH370 May Have Been Found

Vietnamese aircraft spotted what they suspected was one of the doors belonging to the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

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Vietnamese aircraft spotted what they suspected was one of the doors belonging to the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on Sunday, as troubling questions emerged about how two passengers managed to board the Boeing 777 using stolen passports.

The Vietnamese Information Ministry made the announcement on its web page on Sunday, saying the objects appeared to be a fragment of an aircraft’s tail and an interior door. The objects were located about 90 kilometres south of the island of Tho Chu, in the same area where the plane could have gone down if it did not alter its route, a possibility that is currently being investigated. It is in the same area where oil slicks were spotted on Saturday.

The discovery came shortly before nightfall, when air operations were cancelled until Monday morning.

The state-run Thanh Nien newspaper cited Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan, deputy chief of staff of Vietnam’s army, as saying searchers in a low-flying plane had spotted an object suspected of being a door from the missing jet.

"From this object, hopefully (we) will find the missing plane," Tuan said. Thanh Nien said two ships from the maritime police were heading to the site.

An authority told Reuters that it was too dark to be certain the object was part of the missing plane, and that more aircraft would be dispatched to investigate the site in waters off southern Vietnam in the morning. Rahman said that the search area has been increased to 50 nautical miles, from 20, and includes 34 aircraft and 40 ships. Aircraft are conducting 12-hour searches, until sundown, while ships are scheduled to continue the search throughout the night.

Investigations are continuing into Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 with reports a door from the aircraft has been spotted off the coast of Vietnam. Read more:

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The latest on Malaysia Airlines #MH370, with map showing suspected debris.

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DAY 3, 8:50AM: Chinese Family Claims Mobile Phone Of MH370 Passenger Rang

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Desperate family members of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 have urged MAS to use satellite technology to pick up signals from mobile phones on the aircraft before they run out of batteries, Singapore's The Sunday Times reported yesterday.

A Chinese family claimed they had successfully reached the mobile phone of a passenger on board the flight, which is still missing after it lost contact with air traffic controllers on Saturday. A video clip of a man dialling the number of his elder brother was shown on a Beijing Television's news bulletin. The call got connected, but no one picked up.

The man, who did not give his name, spoke to reporters at a Malaysia Airlines briefing in Beijing. He claimed that he made a total of three calls, but no one answered.

DAY 2, 8:50PM: Najib Wants All Airport Security Protocols Reviewed And Enhanced

Najib Wants Airport Security Protocol Reviewed

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The security protocols for air travellers at the country’s airports will be reviewed following the discovery that two passengers aboard missing MAS flight MH370 may have boarded the plane using stolen passports.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that security protocols would be enhanced following the review if it was necessary to do so. “We will review all security protocols and if needed we will enhance them if necessary, because we still do not know the cause of the incident,” Najib told reporters after launching the 2014 National Reconciliation Programme here, Sunday.

Commenting on the possibility of elements of terrorist threat in the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 aircraft, he said the government would not draw any conclusions without firm evidence. "There is no firm evidence now, just a lot of theories flying around. We are forced to find all possible leads and must investigate before making a conclusion," he told reporters after opening the 2014 National Unity programme here, today.

Hishamuddin hugs a worried father.

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8:00PM: Department Civil Aviation Says Yellows Debris Seen In Viral Photo Not From Missing MH370

Department Civil Aviation Says Yellows Debris Shown In Viral Photo Is Not From MH370

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In the latest press conference on the situation of missing flight MH370, the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said that “after more than 24 hours, the search and rescue operation has yet to locate the missing aircraft.” “Finding the MAS MH370 is of utmost importance as it will reveal the reason of the aircraft’s disappearance,” he told a roomful of international and local reporters.

Vietnamese media reports that suspicious object is not related to flight MH370 reports. Jacky Ly Thang, a defense cooperation official in US Embassy Hanoi, told VN Search & Rescue Center just now that US search party has confirmed that the object - seen by Singaporean search plane earlier - had nothing to do with the missing plane.

A total of 34 aircrafts and 40 ships are involved in the search and rescue operation as at 8.30pm tonight.

Malaysian authorities hold press conference, but stonewall most media questions. Questions they dodged include:
1) Was there a security lapse? Who is Malaysia Airlines' insurer?
2) What possibilities and angles are you looking at?
3) Did the passengers traveling on stolen passports look like they were German or Italian?

Photos From Day 2 Of Missing MH370 Search And Rescue Operations

Countries assisting in the search include: Vietnam, China, Singapore, United States, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines. Australia sending support as well. Malaysia also searching in the Straits of Malacca due to reports that MH370 turned back. No signal from the plane's Emergency Locator Transmittor (ELT). Altogether, 34 aircraft and 40 ships involved in search for MH370.

Search and rescue team in Malaysia

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China using with her rescue ship an Britain LR-7 small rescue submarine to find #MH370

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The USA is sending the USS Pinckney to search the missing MH370.

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A U.S. Navy Sea Hawk helicopter landed aboard the USS Pinckney during a crew swap before returning to the search and rescue for the missing Malaysian airlines flight MH370, in the Gulf of Thailand on Sunday.

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Search and rescue vessels

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5:50PM: Two Passengers Traveling On MH370 Using Stolen Passports Bought Their Tickets Together

New information has surfaced on the two stolen passports that were used to board MH370. CNN reported that the passports, one Italian and one Austrian, bought the tickets from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing together from China Southern Airlines in Thai baht at identical prices.
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This information came to light after checks were made with China’s official e-ticket verification system Travelsky. “The ticket numbers are contiguous, which indicates the tickets were issued together,” the CNN report read.

5:20PM: Pak Lah Joins Interfaith Prayers At KLIA And Lends Support For MH370 Family Members

Former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has urged the families of passengers of the missing MAS flight MH370 to stay strong.

Abdullah Badawi (centre) sharing the stage with two monks before the interfaith prayers commenced at KLIA today

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“What has happened is indeed tragic and I am made aware that the search and rescue team, as well as the authorities, are working very hard to resolve this issue. Extensive time and work has been put into this and we are all hoping to hear some good news soon,” The Star Online reported him as saying after attending hajat prayers in KLIA today
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Abdullah added that approximately 40,000 people had gathered at the Putrajaya mosque to pray for the passengers and their families. “Hopefully, all these prayers channel positive energy for the passengers to return safely. In the meantime, we ask of everyone to be patient while the authorities find a way to sort this out,” he said.

4:20PM: Datin Seri Rosmah Sheds Tears With Family Members Of The Passengers And Crew Of MH370

Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor comforting the family members of the passengers of MH370 earlier today

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Prime Minister's wife Rosmah Mansor today offered a shoulder to cry on to the families of the passengers of MH370, which has yet to be located more than 36 hours since it went missing.

According to Bernama, Rosmah arrived at the Everly Hotel in the afternoon and “gave the assurance that the authorities were doing their best and that they had the assistance of several neighbouring countries” in locating the missing flight.

4:10PM: Debris Spotted But Unclear If It's From Missing MH370

Some debris has been spotted in the seas between Malaysia and Vietnam but it is unclear whether it came from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, a Chinese official said in Beijing on Sunday.

This picture of suspected debris of MH370 has gone viral. The image is not verified yet.

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Mr Li Jiaxiang, chief of Civil Aviation Administration of China, was speaking at the sidelines of the tail-end of China's ongoing National People's Congress (NPC), or its annual national parliament meetings, where thousands of delegates have gathered in the Chinese capital.

Mr. Li Jiaxiang, Director of Civil Aviation Administration of China

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"We are still unclear about the exact situation and position of the plane, and hold hope that the passengers are miraculously alive," he said, according to a report by China News. "It is also unclear at the moment if the plane was involved in a terrorist attack," he added.

The Boeing 777-200 is a "mature plane model" and it is rare for it to have gone missing for more than 30 hours, said Mr Tang Jun, general manager of AVIC Aircraft Corporation, also on the sidelines of the NPC.

"Since we are unable to get any signals from the plane, the likelihood that it might have broken up in pieces mid-flight is high. If so, the main causes could be a thunderstorm or adverse weather conditions or possibly explosives on the plane," he was quoted as saying in the same report.

This picture shows the oil slick detected off the coast of Tok Bali, Kelantan, that could belong to missing flight MH370

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Meanwhile, state-run Xinhua News Agency said on Sunday that two warships of the Chinese navy, "Jinggangshan" and "Mianyang", are on their way to the area where the missing plane may have crashed.

3:00PM: 8th Media Statement By MAS Focuses On Families Of Passengers On Missing MH370

8th Media Statement By MAS Focuses On Families Of Passengers On MH370

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Together with all those affected by the MH370 incident, we understand the need to provide regular updates on the progress of the search and rescue operations. As the hours turn into days, we at Malaysia Airlines are similarly anxious and we appreciate the patience, support and prayers from everyone.

We however acknowledge that the most affected group in this incident is the families of those on-board. As such, our primary focus at this point in time is to care for the families. This means providing them with timely information, travel facilities, accommodation, meals and emotional support. Initial financial assistance has been given out to all families. Caregivers are already assigned to each family and they are trained staff and volunteers from Malaysia and Australia.

Family members of the MH370 passengers from Beijing who wish to travel will be flown in stages to Kuala Lumpur on the available flights. We are also communicating with the families from other nations to similarly arrange for their travel to Kuala Lumpur. In the event flight MH370 is located, a Response Control Centre (RCC) in the area will be activated to support the needs of families.

2:55PM: US FBI Joins Missing MH370 Search And Rescue Operations

The Pentagon announced on March 8, 2014 that a P-3C Orion aircraft will depart from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, to the southern coast of Vietnam to aid in the search efforts of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States is deploying a team of agents and technical experts to assist in investigating the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines (MAS) plane, according to US media reports.

The national carrier also said in a statement on its website that in fearing for the worst, a disaster recovery management specialist from Atlanta, United States, would assist the airline "in this crucial time".

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States is deploying a team of agents and technical experts to assist in investigating the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines (MAS) plane, according to US media reports. The US official was quoted as saying that the FBI was not ruling out terrorism or any other issue as a possible cause in the jetliner's disappearance.

The US National Transportation Safety Board said it has dispatched a team to Asia to help in investigations into the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that is presumed to have crashed and claimed 239 lives.

Reuters reported that the NTSB team is accompanied by technical advisers from the US Federal Aviation Administration, the US air safety regulator and Boeing Co, which made the 777-200ER jet that was lost while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. "Once the aircraft location is identified, International Civil Aviation Organisation protocols will determine which country will lead the investigation," the NTSB said.

Because of the travel time to Asia, the team departed from the United States on Saturday night so it could be in place to assist without delay, the NTSB said.

2:00PM: MH370 Search Area Expands To Penang As 40 Vessels From Various Countries Join Rescue Operations

Kapal perang, USS Pinckney sedang dalam pelayaran ke selatan Vietnam bagi membantu operasi mencari dan menyelamat pesawat Penerbangan Malaysia (MAS) MH370 yang dilaporkan hilang awal pagi semalam

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Bernama on Twitter reports a statement from the Army Chief

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In its latest press conference, it is confirmed that the search area has been expanded to include the west coast of Penang.

13 ships from neighbouring countries are now involved in the search and rescue operations; China (3), US (1), Singapore (3), Indonesia (5), Thailand (1). As for aircrafts, Thailand has sent one and the Singapore has sent two. From Malaysia, at present there are 14 ships and one helicopter from the Royal Malaysian Navy, 11 aircraft from the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), five aircraft from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and one aircraft from the police.

This unverified picture from from several countries in search to find MH370 has gone viral on social media.

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Malaysian Armed Forces chief Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin also said that “these are not taking into consideration those ships deployed by Vietnam to conduct research in the area.”

Another Pilot Who Was Flying 30 Minutes Ahead Of Missing MH370 Reveals He Made Contact With The Plane

A BOEING 777 pilot, who was flying 30 minutes ahead of the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft, said he established contact with MH370 minutes after he was asked to do so by Vietnamese air traffic control.

The captain, who asked to not be named, said his plane, which was bound for Narita, Japan, was far into Vietnamese airspace when he was asked to relay, using his plane's emergency frequency, to MH370 for the latter to establish its position, as the authorities could not contact the aircraft.

"We managed to establish contact with MH370 just after 1.30am and asked them if they have transferred into Vietnamese airspace. "The voice on the other side could have been either Captain Zaharie (Ahmad Shah, 53,) or Fariq (Abdul Hamid, 27), but I was sure it was the co-pilot. "There were a lot of interference... static... but I heard mumbling from the other end.

That was the last time we heard from them, as we lost the connection," he told the New Sunday Times. He said those on the same frequency at the time would have heard the exchange. This, he said, would include vessels on the waters below. He said he thought nothing of it, as the occurrence (of losing contact) was normal, until it was established that MH370 never landed.

"If the plane was in trouble, we would have heard the pilot making the Mayday distress call. But I am sure that, like me, no one else up there heard it. "Following the silence, a repeat request was made by the Vietnamese authorities to try establishing contact with them."

1:54PM: Missing MH370 Bound For Beijing
Could Have Been Forced To Turn Around

MALAYSIA Hisham: MH370 may have been forced to turn around BY MELISSA CHIMARCH 9, 2014 SHARE WITH OTHERS 36 0 Google +1 0 TOOLS INCREASE TEXT DECREASE TEXT RESET TEXT PRINT ARTICLE A military aircraft (left) taxis on the runway in hazy weather at the Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City March 9, 2014 after a search and rescue mission to find Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

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Local authorities are now investigating the possibility that missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 bound for Beijing may have been forced to turn around, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today.

The acting transport minister said after taking that possibility into account, the search and rescue team widened their search scope. “We have been up all night and that we confirm that our search now has been extended to even wider areas because we are looking at the possibility of an aircraft air turn back in which case, different locations will have to be identified,” he told reporters here at the Sama Sama Hotel here.

In its latest press conference, it is confirmed that the search area has been expanded to include the west coast of Penang. The DCA said based on recording of the radar, they are inclined to believe that the aircraft might have turned back, and they are not discounting the possibility of it making a turnback to KLIA.

1:30PM: Two More Onboard Missing MAS Flight MH370 Had Fake Passports

Four individuals on MH370's passenger manifest might be linked to stolen or faked passports, acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said today.

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Four individuals on MH370's passenger manifest might be linked to stolen or faked passports, acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said today.

Authorities have yet to confirm the identities of two more European passengers on flight MH370, adding to two others using stolen passports in the Malaysia Airlines plane which vanished over the Malaysia-Vietnam maritime border yesterday.

"All the four names are with me. and I have delegated the names to our intelligence agencies and I have also spoken to the international intelligence agencies. “I will be meeting them later this afternoon,” he said, adding that it will be decided at that meeting what can and cannot be revealed.

Investigators were verifying the identities with the relevant embassies in Malaysia, said the official, who has knowledge of the investigation and declined to be identified. The passengers being checked had all bought their tickets through China Southern Airlines, the official said.

"The background checks with the embassies are being done but these two cannot be confirmed," a source told The Malaysian Insider, adding that both were from the same country.

12:00PM: Malaysian Government Is Not Dismissing Possibilities Of Terrorist Attack Onboard MH370

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the press conference.

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Authorities say that while the stolen passports certainly raise questions, investigators are far from calling the flight’s disappearance an act of terror. “At this time, we have not identified this as an act of terrorism,” a senior American intelligence official, who remained anonymous, told the New York Times. “While the stolen passports are interesting, they don’t necessarily say to us that this was a terrorism act.”

Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi was asked about the possibility of terrorism as the cause for MH370's disappearance. A foreign reporter asked Aziz whether MH370 had been lost due to foul play. "We cannot reveal too many details about our security," Aziz said. "We have reviewed the closed-circuit television video footage pertaining to passengers and their baggages."

However, Aziz said, authorities were not ruling out any possibilities at this juncture. He said search and rescue operations were still ongoing and would continue around the clock.

Former Army soldier Colonel Richard Kemp says the possibility that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 had been attacked by terrorists must be given serious consideration. Col Kemp, a former head of counter-terrorism for the Joint Intelligence Committee and chairman of Cobra, said: "The possibility of this being a terror attack has to be seriously considered.

Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said they were also checking the entire manifest again, adding that he has spoken to international intelligence agencies on the matter.
“All those I have spoken to have activated their counter terrorist units,” Hishammuddin told reporters.

11:16AM: Day 2 Of MH370 Search And Rescue Continues With Three Aircrafts

Families of those onboard the MH370

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines is to set up a command centre in Kota Baru, Kelantan, or Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, as soon as the location of its missing aircraft is established, the airline said today.

The national carrier also said in a statement on its website that in fearing for the worst, a disaster recovery management specialist from Atlanta, United States, would assist the airline "in this crucial time".

A press conference conducted by MAS and the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) told reporters that the search and rescue operation using three aircraft restarted at 7am Sunday (March 9) morning.
DCA director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said the aircraft are in the search and rescue area and nothing has been spotted yet. “The overnight operation using ships did not spot any wreckage.”

"There is nothing to report at this juncture ... The rescue operations continue... and we have to report that we have not been able to locate anything," Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, from the Malaysia's civil aviation authority told a new gathering in Kula Lumpur.

DAY 2, 2:00AM: Supposed Aerial View Image Of Oil Slicks Believed To Be From Missing MAS Flight MH370 Surfaces

Vietnam air force planes spot two oil slicks suspected to be from missing Malaysian Boeing 777 jet. A Vietnamese government statement said the slicks were spotted late on Saturday off the southern tip of Vietnam and were each between six and nine miles long.

An aerial view of an oil spill seen from a Vietnamese Air Force aircraft searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane

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There was no confirmation that the slicks were related to the missing plane, but the statement said they were consistent with the kinds that would be produced by the two fuel tanks of a crashed jetliner.

DAY 1, 11PM: It Is Confirmed That Two Passengers Onboard MH370 Used Stolen Passports

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Luigi Maraldi, 37, was named as one of the people on board flight MH370 - but his parents have confirmed he is alive and well in Thailand. One of the passengers travelling on board a missing Malaysian Airlines carrying 239 people was using a stolen Italian passport, it has emerged. But Italian sources have confirmed he is alive and well and rang his worried parents after reading news reports about the missing flight.

"I'm alive - I'm in Thailand!" he said. Mr Maraldi reported his passport stolen on August 1 last year and was not on board the plane, according to news agency ANSA.

The Italian embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, told Hodal that Luigi Maraldi is an Italian national living in Phuket who was recently given a new passport but did not get on the flight. An embassy official told her it sounded like a case of “double passports”, where the new one is issued but the old one is stolen.

Similar to the case of Luigi Maraldi, Austria has said that one of its citizens included on the passenger list was not on board the flight. Austria’s foreign ministry spokesman, Martin Weiss, told media outlets on Saturday that the citizen, who he did not name, was safely living in Austria and had his passport stolen two years ago during a visit to Thailand. There is only one Austrian on the passenger list: Christian Kozel, aged 30.

An Italian and Austrian who had their passports stolen in Thailand, were listed as false passengers

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DAY 1, 8.20PM: Two Large Oil Slicks Discovered Suspected To Be From MH370 Say Vietnamese Authorities

An AN26 aircraft of the Vietnam Navy has discovered an oil slick about 20 kilometers in the search area

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A 12-mile long oil slick spotted between Malaysia and Vietnam is thought to be the first sign that a missing Malaysia Airlines flight with 239 people aboard went down in the waters between the two countries.

“An AN26 aircraft of the Vietnam Navy has discovered an oil slick about 20 kilometers in the search area, which is suspected of being a crashed Boeing aircraft -- we have announced that information to Singapore and Malaysia and we continue the search,” Lai Xuan Thanh, the director of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam, said in reporting the sighting of the slick.

He said he did not know whether the slick was closer to the Malaysian or Vietnam side of the entrance to the Gulf of Thailand. The last coordinates automatically transmitted by the aircraft were from near the midpoint between the two countries, when the plane appeared to be in stable flight at 35,000 feet.

Vietnamese air force planes have spotted two large oil slicks that authorities suspect are from a Malaysian jetliner that went missing early Saturday. A Vietnamese government statement says the slicks were spotted off the southern tip of Vietnam. The slicks were each between 10 kilometers (6 miles) and 15 kilometers (9 miles) long.

The search has focused on an area of the South China Sea roughly 120 nautical miles south west of Vietnam - the last point of contact with the jet, and where the oil slick has been reported.

A woman wipes her tears after walking out of the reception center and holding area for family and friend of passengers aboard missing MH370

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7:50PM: Vietnamese Navy Confirms It Has Not Located The Wreckage Of The Missing MAS Plane

The Vietnamese navy has confirmed that it has not located the wreckage of the missing Malaysian Airlines plane in its territorial waters, says Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Saturday, following earlier reports which quoted the Vietnamese navy as saying that the plane had crashed into the South China Sea.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (centre) arrives to meet family members of missing passengers at the reception centre at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, on March 8, 2014.

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Datuk Seri Najib said it remained "too early" to make any conclusion about the fate of the missing plane. He added that the search operations in the area about midway between Malaysia and Vietnam's southern coast have been intensified.

Malaysia Airlines holds a news conference after Flight MH370, operating on a Boeing 777, with 239 people on board went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014.

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At a press conference at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Mr Najib said he had spoken to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and expressed condolences over the affected Chinese passengers. There were 153 Chinese nationals, including one child, on board the missing plane.

WATCH: Malaysia Authorities Say No New Developments On Missing MH370

5:00PM: Malaysia Airlines And Malaysia Transport Minister Deny That Flight MH370 Crashed

Officials say there is still no sign of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 carrying 239 people, which lost contact with authorities more than eight hours ago. The plane lost communications over the South China Sea on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, but international aviation authorities have denied reports that the plane crashed south of an island off Vietnam.

A Malaysia Airlines spokesman (C) speaks to journalists regarding information about Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, during a news conference at a hotel in Beijing March 8, 2014

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The jetliner lost communication two hours into the flight in Vietnam's airspace at 1.20am local time (18:20 GMT Friday), China's official Xinhua News Agency said. Vietnamese website VN Express said a Vietnamese search and rescue official reported that signals from the plane were detected about 120 nautical miles (140 miles) south-west of Vietnam's southernmost Ca Mau province.

However, Malaysian transport minister Hishamuddin Hussein said no signs have been found that the flight had crashed. "We are doing everything in our power to locate the plane, and doing everything we can to ensure every possible angle has been addressed," Hishamuddin told reporters near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Hishammuddin said the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and the Foreign Ministry have confirmed that no wreckage was found at the island south of Vietnam

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"We are looking for accurate information from the Malaysian military. They are waiting for information from the Vietnamese side."

A Photo Of An Emergency Rescue Message That Was Sent Out To Vessels Nearby

An emergency rescue message sent out to vessels nearby

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3:30PM: Relatives Told To Come To KLIA Before 6PM With Valid Passports To 'Travel To The Crash Site'

At KLIA, the brother of a passenger says relatives are being told to bring a valid passport because they need to 'travel to the crash site'. Relatives have to be at KLIA before 6pm with valid passports for MAS to make 'travel arrangements'.

Family members of those onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight walk into the waiting area at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang March 8, 2014.

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Police are escorting grief-stricken relatives out of the holding room. Many are distraught and in tears.

Family members of those onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight walk into the waiting area at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang March 8, 2014.

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A relative (woman in white) of a passenger onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries as she talks on her mobile phone at the Beijing Capital International Airport March 8, 2014.

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A relative of a passenger onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing March 8, 2014.

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1:30PM: Vietnamese Navy Has Confirmed Flight MH370 Crashed Into The Sea

According to Navy Admiral Ngo Van Phat, Commander of the Region 5, military radar recorded that the plane crashed into the sea at a location 153 miles South of Phu Quoc island.

When contacted, Malaysia Airlines declined to confirm or deny the reports, saying that the Malaysian authorities are working together with the Vietnamese government on the matter. Meanwhile, Al Jazeera reports that China has dispatched two maritime rescue ships to help locate the missing plane.
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Official Name List Of Passengers And Crew Members On Board The Flight MH370

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12:50PM: Unconfirmed Reports From Vietnam Say Missing MH370 Crashed Into The Ocean

Vietnam media now reporting their navy has confirmed that #MalaysiaAirlines flight #MH370 crashed into the ocean. #PrayForMH370
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Photos Of Relatives Of Passengers On Board Flight MH370

a woman in tears is helped by airport workers to a bus waiting for relatives of the missing passengers

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A woman, center, surrounded by media covers her mouth on her arrival at a hotel which is prepared for relatives or friends of passengers aboard the missing plane, in Beijing

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media hover over a possible relative of a passenger on the Malaysia Airlines flight

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A Malaysian policeman stands guard outside a reception centre for family and friends at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport

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11.00AM: MAS Group CEO, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, "The Passengers Were From 14 Different Nationalities"

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are deeply saddened this morning with the news on MH370. Malaysia Airlines confirms that flight MH370 had lost contact with Subang Air Traffic Control at 2.40am, today. There has been speculation that the aircraft has landed at Nanming. We are working to verify the authenticity of the report and others.
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Unconfirmed Reports Of Flight MH370 Landing Safely In Nanming, China Surfaced At 9:30AM, Are False

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has denied several reports which stated flight MH370 had made an emergency landing in Nanning, China. “We have checked with ground control and it’s not true,” said Fuad Sharuji, VP Operation Controlsaid.
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He said during the last reported contact at 35,000 feet, around two hours from KLIA, there was no call from the crew or notification from the tower that they were having any kind of difficulties.

“As of now, we still have no clue on where it is right now” he told CNN at 10.45am. MAS is holding a press conference at 11am.
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First Officer, Fariq Ab.Hamid, A Malaysian, Is Aged 27. He Has A Total Flying Experience Of 2,763 Hours. He Joined Malaysia Airlines In 2007.

A photo of Quest and Fariq is being shared on social networks believed to be from the CNN Business Travel shoot.

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The Flight Was Piloted By Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, A Malaysian Aged 53. He Has A Total Flying Experience Of 18,365 Hours. He Joined Malaysia Airlines In 1981.

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20 Top Management Staff From Freescale Semiconductor Were On Board MAS Flight MH370

About 20 top management staff from semiconductor company Freescale Semiconductor were among 38 Malaysians onboard MAS flight MH370. The team comprising senior managers and managers were on their way to China to undergo a month-long course in Beijing.

It is learnt that they were part of a group of 29, nine of whom were supposed to leave for China today. Among the managers onboard the missing plane was Safuan Ramlan, 33, whose wife, Jelawati Jalil, 32, was waiting at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for news of the missing plane.

A Statement From The Airline Said It Was Contacting The Next-Of-Kin Of Passengers And Crew

The airline said in a statement that its representatives were contacting the relatives of those aboard. "Focus of the airline is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support," it said.

Relatives of passengers have faced an anxious wait at Beijing International Airport

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"We're closely monitoring reports on Malaysia flight MH370," Boeing said in a tweet. "Our thoughts are with everyone on board."

At The Time Of Its Disappearance, The Plane Was Carrying About 7.5 Hours Of Fuel

Malaysia Airlines is the national carrier of Malaysia and one of the largest in Asia

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Fuad Sharuji, Malaysian Airlines' vice president of operations control, told CNN that the plane was flying at an altitude of 35,000ft (10,700m) and that the pilots had reported no problem with the aircraft.

The Flight Went Missing Two Hours After Taking Off From KL. China's Xinhua State News Agency Said It Was Lost In Airspace Controlled By Vietnam.

It said some 160 Chinese passengers were among the people on board. The aircraft did not enter airspace controlled by China and did not make contact with Chinese controllers, the agency added.
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The Flight Was Carrying A Total Number Of 239 Passengers And Crew – Comprising 227 Passengers (Including 2 Infants), 12 Crew Members

It was carrying 227 passengers, two of them infants, and 12 crew members, the airline said. The passengers are of 13 nationalities, the airline said. At the time of its disappearance, the plane was carrying about 7.5 hours of fuel, Malaysia Airlines Vice President of Operations Control Fuad Sharuji said.

A file photo of Malaysia Airline's ground staff parking a Boeing 777-200 at Kuala Lumpur International airport.

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"Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their Search and Rescue team to locate the aircraft," the statement said. The public can call +603 7884 1234 for further information. Efforts to contact the plane were fruitless."

An Official Media Statement Released Earlier This Morning Of The Incident Provides The Details Of The Missing Flight

*Saturday, March 08, 09:05 AM MYT +0800 Malaysia Airlines MH370 Flight Incident

We deeply regret that we have lost all contacts with flight MH370 which departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41 am earlier this morning bound for Beijing. The aircraft was scheduled to land at Beijing International Airport at 6.30am local Beijing time. Subang Air Traffic Control reported that it lost contact at 2.40am (local Malaysia time) today. Flight MH370 was operated on a Boeing B777-200 aircraft. *

The flight path from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

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Sepang, 8 March 2014: Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Lost Contact With Subang Air Traffic Control At 2.40am

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