Missing plane may have turned back: official
Updated: 2014-03-09 14:00
Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) Director General Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman speaks at a news conference at a hotel near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, March 9, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
KUALA LUMPUR -- The missing Malaysian jet may have turned back from its scheduled course to Beijing before disappearing, a military official said here Sunday.
General Rodzali Daud, the Royal Malaysian Air Force chief, told a press conference that the military radar indicated there was a possibility that the missing Boeing 777 jet made a turn-back, deviating from it set course.
"We have looked into the recording on the radar and realized that there is a possibility the aircraft did make a turnback," the airforce chief said.
The Malaysian rescue teams have expanded their scope of search and have dispatched 22 helicopters and 40 ships in hunt for the commercial airliner.
"There was no sign of abnormalities on the aircraft," director general of the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia Azharuddin Abdul Rahman told the media earlier Sunday.
In a statement, Malaysia Airlines said that it feared the worst for its missing plane carrying 239 people, more than a day after it vanished.
"In fearing for the worst, a disaster recovery management specialist from Atlanta, U.S. will be assisting Malaysia Airlines in this crucial time," the airline said earlier on Sunday.
It disclosed that the missing plane's wingtip used to be repaired by Boeing before returning to fly.
Meanwhile, two passengers with false passports had gotten on board the Malaysian plane,according to the closed-circuit television (CCTV) records, Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation Director General Azharuddin Abdul Rahman confirmed at the press conference.
A statement by Malaysian Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said earlier in the day that the authorities are looking at four possible cases of suspected identities.
The vanished Boeing 777-200ER carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew was presumed to have crashed off the Vietnamese coast Saturday after losing contact with air traffic controllers off the eastern Malaysia coast.
Two passengers with false passports got on board the missing Malaysian plane according to the closed-circuit television (CCTV) records, Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation Director General Azharuddin Abdul Rahman confirmed Sunday in a latest press conference.
A Chinese coast guard vessel has entered the waters around the suspected site of the missing Malaysian plane to carry out a rescue mission. As of 11:30 am on Sunday, the vessel "China Coast Guard 3411" has entered the area and was about 45 nautical miles from where the plane was believed to be when it lost contact with ground control, according to China's State Oceanic Administration.
Malaysia Airline plane that went missing over Vietnam on Saturday has still not been located, said Li Jiaxiang, director of Civil Aviation Administration, China. China has dispatched a large team, including marine forces, to help in the search for the aircraft that was carrying 239 people, including 154 Chinese.