17:09 13 March 2014
Flight MH370 went off the radar on Saturday just an hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur. It was bound to Beijing. The last contact it made was when it was cruising over the South China Sea at 35,000 feet.
Based on plane’s manifest, there were 239 people on board including 12 crewmembers from Malaysia while the passengers were from 14 different countries. Among the passengers are 19 ‘prominent artists’ and five children.
Although nothing has been proven yet, investigators are considering the possibility of human involvement: hijacking, sabotage, psychological problems or personal problems with passengers or crew. Sudden, accidental, and structural failures are considered highly unlikely in today’s passenger aircraft. Also, Boeing 777-200s are considered one of the safest planes.
However, the lack of leads is somewhat surprising given the amount of measures a modern passenger plane incorporates.
Search teams are desperately searching for the plane’s ELT (emergency locator transmitter).
While these aren’t always reliable if a plane strikes water, the black box has a device called a pinger which is supposed to emit radio signals from very deep below the ocean surface. These are transmitted for up to 30 days, sometimes longer in warmer waters.
Missing for almost a week, the search still continues for the missing jet. Search teams are in the seas off Vietnam and Malaysia. While search teams from different countries are also assisting.
On Tuesday, officials confirmed that the search have expanded on both sides of Vietnam’s Ca Mau peninsula. It was further expanded from 50 nautical miles from where the plane disappeared.
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