19 Mar 2014

Flight 370 mystery: ongoing anguish for those left behind

They are demanding answers and still there are almost none.

Relatives of the Chinese passengers missing on board Flight 370 burst into our hotel today, screaming and shouting for information, before Malaysian police dragged them away.

Warning: this report contains flash photography.

“I want you to help me find my son,” one woman cried, besides herself with anguish.

“We don’t need to be looked after,” said another, “we just need to know where the plane is.”

At the daily bearpit of a press conference that followed, Malaysian officials said little.

They’ve apparently learned their lesson – refusing to speculate in front of the world’s media, which has tired of broadcasting what turn out to be false leads and is now all too ready to vilify the misinformation’s source.

The pilot, Captain Zaharia Ahmad Shah, remains front and centre of this investigation.

It emerged today that he had deleted some data from the flight simulator he kept at home and upon which, the theory goes, he plotted the plane’s abrupt change of course.

The search for flight 370 now involves 26 countries.

A Chinese family member of a passenger onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 screams as she is being brought into a room outside the media conference area at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur International Airport

The latest claim – that the plane was seen over the Maldive Islands – was dismissed by officials as untrue today. And the head of Malaysia’s Civil Aviation Authority told me it was also untrue that the plane was deliberately steered off course before the co-pilot said a formal goodnight to air traffic control.

So If that is the case, something momentous may have happened in the cockpit after that farewell, forcing the pilots to turn back towards the Malaysian peninsula.

But what kind of accident? A cockpit fire, perhaps? The pilots then fighting that fire and changing course, but maybe disabling their communications in the chaos.

Malaysia says it has received more radar data from other countries to examine, but officials certainly don’t sound as if they have a better idea of what happened to flight 370 than they did yesterday.

But they stress that background checks on the passengers have thrown up nothing overly suspicious – and that all 239 on board must be presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

Follow @jrug on Twitter

Tweets by @jrug

One reader comment

  1. ang67 says:

    I really don’t understand why they are not trying to look to the east of Kuala Lumpa, with the time it could have flown as far as the Marshall Islands there are lots of attols there where old landing strips remain from the war but everyone seems to be thinking of terrorist and hijacking, I think that the co pilot had carefully planned what he wanted to do.

Comments are closed.