12 Apr 2014

Did MH370 co-pilot make mid-flight phone call?

The Malaysian government responds to reports of a phone call made by the co-pilot of the MH370 plane just before it disappeared by saying “if it is true, we would have known about it much earlier”.

Missing MH370 flight phone call rumour (Getty)

The co-pilot of Flight MH370 made a “desperate” call from his mobile phone just before the plane disappeared, according to a report in the New Straits Times.

The call was apparently picked up by a telecommunications tower in Penang because the plane was flying low enough for the signal to be detected, reports suggested.

However, Malaysia’s acting transport minister has refuted the latest story about the missing plane.

Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters: “I cannot comment [on the newspaper report] because if it is true, we would have known about it much earlier.”

He said that throughout the mystery of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, he had not confirmed anything without corroboration or verification, citing other rumours such as claims of finding safety jackets, oil spills or satellite images, which have proved to be false.

It was a roller-coaster ride, whereby we received information and investigated, but they were baseless. Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia’s acting transport minister

“We received numerous leads and we followed them but unfortunately, it was a roller-coaster ride, whereby we received information and investigated [them] but they were baseless,” he added.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, went missing on 8 March en route to Beijing – more than a month ago. Since then, there has been an international search effort to find the plane, although it is now accepted that the plane crashed, leaving no survivors. Despite promising signals this week – including “pings” thought to be from the black box inside the plane – its whereabouts, and what happened to the aircraft, remain a mystery.

The search is ongoing.