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Investigators chasing 'every angle' on missing jet

CHINA-MALAYSIA-VIETNAM-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-TRANSPORT-ACCIDENT

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Dozens of ships and aircraft have failed to find any piece of the missing Boeing 777 jet that vanished more than two days ago above waters south of Vietnam as investigators pursued "every angle" to explain its disappearance, including hijacking, Malaysia's civil aviation chief said Monday.

Malaysian maritime officials found some oil slicks in the South China Sea and sent a sample to a lab to see if it came from the plane, the Department of Civil Aviation chief, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, told a news conference.

Missing Malaysia Airlines Plane a

Hundreds of distraught relatives were gathered in a hotel in Beijing, waiting to be flown to Malaysia. Of the 227 passengers, two-thirds were Chinese. There were also 38 passengers and 12 crew members from Malaysia, and others from elsewhere in Asia, Europe and North America, including three Americans.

"We accept God's will. Whether he is found alive or dead, we surrender to Allah," said Selamat Omar, a Malaysian whose 29-year-old son Mohamad Khairul Amri Selamat was heading to Beijing for a business trip. He said he was expecting a call from his son after the flight's scheduled arrival time at 6:30 a.m. Saturday. Instead he got a call from the airline to say the plane was missing.

Vietnamese ships working throughout the night could not find a rectangular object spotted Sunday afternoon that was thought to be one of the doors of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet.

"We have not found anything that appears to be objects from the aircraft," Azharuddin said, adding that the search operation has involved 34 aircraft and 40 ships covering a 50-nautical mile radius from the point the plane vanished from radar screens early Saturday about one hour into a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

He said officials from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. National Safety Transportation Board have arrived to help in the investigation.

As hope faded for relatives of the 239 people who were aboard Flight MH370, attention focused on how two passengers managed to board the ill-fated aircraft using stolen passports. Interpol confirmed it knew about the stolen passports but said no authorities checked its vast databases on stolen documents before the jet departed

Warning that "only a handful of countries" routinely make such checks, Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble chided authorities for "waiting for a tragedy to put prudent security measures in place at borders and boarding gates."

Still, there was no indication that the two men had anything to do with the tragedy.

Possible causes of the apparent crash include an explosion, catastrophic engine failure, extreme turbulence, or pilot error or even suicide.

Azharuddin acknowledged many theories about the plane's disappearance, including hijacking.

"We are not discounting this. We are looking at every angle but again, we have to find concrete evidence," he said.

The baggage of five passengers who had checked in to the flight but did not board the plane were removed before it departed, he said. Airport security was strict according to international standards, surveillance has been done and the airport has been audited, he said.

On Saturday, the foreign ministries in Italy and Austria said the names of two citizens listed on the flight's manifest matched the names on two passports reported stolen in Thailand.

"I can confirm that we have the visuals of these two people on CCTV," Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said at a news conference late Sunday, adding that the footage was being examined. "We have intelligence agencies, both local and international, on board."

The thefts of the two passports - one belonging to Austrian Christian Kozel and the other to Luigi Maraldi of Italy - were entered into Interpol's database after they were stolen in Thailand in 2012 and last year, the police body said.

Electronic booking records show that one-way tickets with those names were issued Thursday from a travel agency in the beach resort of Pattaya in eastern Thailand. A person who answered the phone at the agency said she could not comment.

But no authorities in Malaysia or elsewhere checked the passports against the database of 40 million stolen or lost travel documents before the Malaysia Airlines plane took off.

A telephone operator on a China-based KLM hotline confirmed Sunday that passengers named Maraldi and Kozel had been booked on one-way tickets on the same KLM flight, flying from Beijing to Amsterdam on Saturday. Maraldi was to fly on to Copenhagen, Denmark, and Kozel to Frankfurt, Germany. She said the pair booked the tickets through China Southern Airlines.

As holders of EU passports with onward flights to Europe, the passengers would not have needed visas for China.

The Thai national police chief on Monday set up a task force to investigate the issue of the stolen passports.

Interpol said it and national investigators were working to determine the true identities of those who used the stolen passports to board the flight. White House Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken said the U.S. was looking into the stolen passports, but that investigators had reached no conclusions.

Interpol has long sounded the alarm that growing international travel has underpinned a new market for identity theft: Bogus passports are mostly used by illegal immigrants, but also pretty much anyone looking to travel unnoticed such as drug runners or terrorists. More than 1 billion times last year, travelers boarded planes without their passports being checked against Interpol's database of 40 million stolen or lost travel documents, the police agency said.

Finding traces of an aircraft that disappears over sea can take days or longer, even with a sustained search effort. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, wreckage can be scattered over a large area. If the plane enters the water before breaking up, there can be relatively little debris.

Join the discussion

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hap0749 March 10 2014 at 9:35 AM

aliens lol

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1 reply
xpphil12 hap0749 March 10 2014 at 9:41 AM

I read that William Shatner had flown a previous flight on that plane and tried to warn the pilots of something strange going on.It had something to do with the wing of the aircraft.

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mmbz67a March 10 2014 at 11:20 AM

The flight recorder black boxes have locating devices unless they were disabled before or during flight, But should point to some information. The FAA should have tracking info? Also the planes were supposed to have identifiers installed for risk of being shot down by military aircraft. There is a lot of missing answers here. Someone is not telling the hole story, Is this another smoke and mirrors trick? If so they have my attention but they lack any credibility with the whole plane just disappeared! My deepest heart felt sympathy and condolences to the Family and Friends of the missing passengers and crew.

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1 reply
Jettech mmbz67a March 10 2014 at 11:32 AM

If the flight recorder or cockpit voice recorder was not working then the airplane would know it and so would Malaysian Airlines. That information would have been transmitted (downlinked) via the airplanes CMC or central maintenance computer. The only way to disable the CVR or DFDR in flight is to pull the circuit breaker and someone would need access to that circuit breaker. The locating beacons are more than likely sending out a signal provided they survived what ever happened to the airplane. Its likely that the boxes along with the wreckage is at the bottom of the ocean and you will need sophisticated listening equipment to hear the ping. This is exactly the case with Air France 447 in the South Atlantic in 2009 and it took authorities almost a month to locate the CVR and DFDR

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defonts11 March 10 2014 at 11:08 AM

They have said the water is not deep where they "believe" the plane went down yet no one has reported searching beneath the water or their findings. A plane that large just doesn't disappear. Satellite images can find a pebble on a beach and they can't find a Boeing 777? Inconceivable..

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1 reply
Jettech defonts11 March 10 2014 at 11:09 AM

Satellites don't find anything beneath the ocean.

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1 reply
ae12wrangell Jettech March 10 2014 at 11:44 AM

Obviosly you never heard of SONAR. The US Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard use it.

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rgburrill March 10 2014 at 8:45 AM

Instead of how they boarded a more important question is why they boarded. Malaysian Islamic terrorist are some of the worst of the "religion of peace".

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James Walsh March 10 2014 at 8:44 AM

I do not know/see/understand why the computer does not "kick out" a reported "stolen" document. 0r any sort of ID that is in the data base..
When a cop checks your licences. at a traffic stop his laptop checks it.
once that passport is reported it should be VOID, Should you lose your credit card and report it, it is void, can not be used anywhere. and that goes for more than the 40 million they say is in the data base.. you beleve there are forty million "stolen passports' yea! they are trying to say "how could we check that many passports" ? right ! the computer does it. if 400 million it will check it less than a second.. even the laptop you are reading this on could do it.. The cop in his car can do it..
Those guys could have just been trying to hide a affair, run drugs, maybe some other reason and not a bomb , but they should never been able to use a stolen passport that has been reported.
Be interesting to find the true identities, it leans toward terrorist, but Why two? why not one,
This is a movie in the making

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rchrdjgrhm March 10 2014 at 11:52 AM

when the plane turned , could it have nose dived as well to below a radar level of detection and then leveled off.. and was there enough fuel to go to Somali.. is there any coincidence to the head pirate quitting his post, o the recent successgul resumption of a ship piracy? is there nothing to be found because its sitting in Somali with 237 hostages? have the somali pirates upped their game and now moved on to planes as well?

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1 reply
Jettech rchrdjgrhm March 10 2014 at 11:55 AM

Do you really think an airplane like a 777 can land somewhere and no one knows that it did ? I can guarantee you this, if they flew low enough over land to fly under radar as you say, then they did not have enough fuel to go very far. The lower you fly the more fuel you burn.

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1 reply
Bernie Jettech March 10 2014 at 1:19 PM

I agree, it would be pretty hard to hide a 777 in Malaysia Airlines paint scheme…. but considering the timing of the flight…. it could still be a remote possibility of a well planned hijacking, especially if they had an abandoned or remote airstrip large enough to at least accommodate landing of that size aircraft… and possibly an abandoned hangar or warehouse big enough to hide it in…..
Departure time out of Kuala Lumpur was 12:40 AM…. disappeared about an hour later…… 1:40 AM….. pitch dark of night and most of that part of the world asleep, especially if they flew over sparsely populated areas or stayed primarily over open waters on a pre-determined flight path. The lack of any signs of any kind of debris or a signal from an emergency beacon which is designed to activate in any type of impact sort of opens the door to most any scenario…..

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Humberto March 10 2014 at 11:02 AM

Here is my two cents and maybe somebody there has the economic way to created the solution for missing aircrafts, one thing for sure that nobody is more interesting to find the airplane than the families, my heart is with them, then the solution is equip all the airplane with a record device that instead be in the black box ( or can be both together), be in land, and the only thing is to need to do is use the satellites as a way to transmit the stream information to the land's place, and for sure the information GPS.

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2 replies
dave1marine Humberto March 10 2014 at 11:10 AM

There IS such a system, but only on recently manufactured commercial aircraft, and installment on all commercial is NOT mandated by our own FAA or NTSB.
All of the flight and voice data are constantly streamed from the aircraft,as well as saved on the recorders.

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1 reply
Jettech dave1marine March 10 2014 at 11:13 AM

Voice data is not streamed or downloaded from the a/c. It remains in the CVR until someone downloads it. Flight Data is kept in the DFDR and QAR disc if equipped.

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elmer koski Humberto March 10 2014 at 11:13 AM

With all of the transmitting and receiving equipment we have these days, I have often wondered why the records of aircraft flights are not recorded somewhere on the ground. The black boxes are still rather primitive and so hard to find in many cases. Yes, you got it right.

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rjrtreesrv March 10 2014 at 8:30 AM

plane hijacked ,searching off land is the way to go. cell phones and beacons turned off radar can not pickup.

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virgprit12 March 10 2014 at 11:02 AM

I think the plane has simply sunk to the bottom of the sea and that is why it has not been found, Tons of steel is heavy. I don't think there is any black hole, any bermuda triangle involved as some people are saying. Apparently planes fly in the departure area all the time.. The poor passengers and crew are drowned. It is so sad it is hard to even think of. I hate flying and this situation proves one of the reasons why .

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3 replies
Hello Beautiful March 10 2014 at 11:59 AM

My heartfelt prayers go out to all involved here. I cannot imagine this situation ending well. As for the dipshits with the racist comments and just plain nasty remarks, one would hope that you NEVER know firsthand what it is like to lose a family member in this sort of way. "Mr. ge0rgechevr0let" You are sick and twisted and need some serious help

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