Malaysian airlines flight still missing
March 10, 2014
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With three days of little evidence and inconclusive leads, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 and its 239 passengers appear almost to have vanished into thin air.
The plane disappeared from radar screens at 1:30 a.m. after it left Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and headed towards its destination, Beijing, China. Relatives of the missing passengers have been told to prepare for the worst.
In a BBC news video, one woman whose sister-in-law was aboard the plane said, “We’re praying for a miracle.”
Three Americans, including one child, were among the plane’s passengers.
Weather conditions are reported as agreeable. The pilot had more than 18,000 flying hours of experience and had been employed by the airline since 1981, according to BBC news.
Malaysia Airlines has a good safety record, and the Boeing 777-200ER jet is considered to be one of the safest models due to its modern technology.
David Learmount, operations and safety editor for aviation news site “Flight Global” said to BBC news, “Today’s aeroplanes are incredibly reliable and you do not get some sudden structural failure in flight. It just doesn’t happen. It just won’t happen.”
Malaysian military officials said on March 8 that the plane may have attempted to turn back from its scheduled route shortly before contact was lost, adding to the growing list of questions. No distress signal was sent.
Terrorism has not been ruled out and the United States has sent investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to assist. However, officials caution that there is no evidence yet that the disappearance represents a terrorist attack.
Interpol released a statement reporting that two male passengers on Flight MH370 had used stolen passports, one taken from an Australian in 2012 and the other from an Italian in 2013, to board. This represents a worrying security breach, but could be related more to illegal migration than terrorism.
Carlmont student Andrew Wach said of the passports, “It’s definitely a clue as to what happened.”
Wach also said, “I wouldn’t go straight to terrorism,” but the two passports being stolen “definitely sounds suspicious.”
Sydney Salzman was also doubtful of the flight’s disappearance being a terrorist attack because “if it were, a terrorist organization would have come forward” and claimed responsibility for it.
“I think that, since there hasn’t been much evidence found, the plane probably blew up in the sky,” said Salzman.
Flight MH370 was flying over the South China Sea, south of Vietnam. Waters both east and south of Malaysia are currently being searched.
BBC news reports 40 ships and at least 20 aircraft from seven different nations are participating in search and rescue efforts.
A report from an unnamed Vietnam official said that “two broken objects, which seem like those of an aircraft” had been spotted. One blurry photograph showed an object resembling an airplane door or life raft.
However, after investigation the “life raft” was found to be an unrelated object. No wreckage of the flight has yet been confirmed.
Vietnamese navy planes also found a possible oil slick on March 7, but officials have expressed doubt that the find was related to the disappearance of Flight MH370.
Wach still keeps hope and said, “I think there’s definitely still a chance of them finding things. I don’t know about living things, since it’s been three days.”
Wach also stated he imagines that the case of Flight MH370 would increase security measures in airports.
“I’m still gonna fly because I would like to travel,” said Wach. “But [the news] is definitely scary.”