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Malaysia police probe flight engineer on missing plane

KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 (Reuters) - Malaysian police are investigating a flight engineer who was among the passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines plane as they focus on the pilots and anyone else on board who had technical flying knowledge, a senior police official said.

The aviation engineer is Mohd Khairul Amri Selamat, 29, a Malaysian who has said on social media he had worked for a private jet charter company.

"Yes, we are looking into Mohd Khairul as well as the other passengers and crew. The focus is on anyone else who might have had aviation skills on that plane," a senior police official with knowledge of the investigations told Reuters.

Malaysian investigators are trawling through the backgrounds of the pilots, crew and ground staff who worked on the missing Boeing 777-200ER for clues as to why someone on board flew it hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of miles off course.

No trace of the plane has been found more than a week after it vanished but investigators believe it was diverted by someone with deep knowledge of the plane and of commercial navigation.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Saturday evidence pointed to a deliberate diversion of the flight, given the controlled way it was apparently turned around and flown far to the west of its original route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

A flight engineer is responsible for overseeing systems on a plane during flights to confirm they are working correctly and to make repairs if necessary. As an engineer specializing in executive jets, Khairul would not necessarily have all the knowledge needed to divert and fly a large jetliner.

Khairul had said he worked for a Swiss-based jet charter firm called Execujet Aviation Group, but the company declined to say whether it still employed him. In a picture posted on Khairul's Facebook account in 2011, he identified himself as an employee of Execujet's Malaysian operations.

"We can't disclose anything. We want to protect the family's privacy," an official at the company's Malaysian office said.

Khairul, a father of one daughter, had recently bought a house on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, and had more than 10 years experience as a flight engineer, his father Selamat Omar told Reuters. He declined to say whether he believed his son could have been involved in any foul play.

Selamat said he and other family members were supposed to visit Khairul's new house this month. But Khairul had told his father on Thursday he had to go for a job in Beijing and that they would reschedule. That was the last time they spoke.

"Khairul was doing well in his job and was a good son. He would come visit us at least once a month," Selamat said.

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graztini March 17 2014 at 8:44 AM

29 years old with more than 10 years experience....you will have to blow smoke somewhere else to convince me of that theory

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LouiseNader March 17 2014 at 8:08 AM

These people are missing . They are human beings. Have some compassion for them

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1 reply
topaward LouiseNader March 17 2014 at 8:24 AM

I could not have said that any better. If that flight was full of Americans there wouldn't be any negitive remarks here.

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don March 17 2014 at 8:39 AM

if terrorist stole the plane for future use they wouldn't open their mouth about doing this act. Sad
to say but a suicidal nut case performed this deliberate act of crime.

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1 reply
msgoe don March 17 2014 at 8:48 AM

there was clearly more than one nut case involved

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Dave March 17 2014 at 8:03 AM

we can track a missing iphone but cant find a passanger jet....WTF!!!

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2 replies
kenlavine1 Dave March 17 2014 at 8:12 AM

Not if you turn the phone off.

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BRUCE Dave March 17 2014 at 8:23 AM

We? Not our plane......Our military most likely know exactly what happened and where that plane is but not really willing to let the whole world know of our satallite spy capabilities. If they can tell if your dog or cat has fleas (hypothetically speaking) from a hundred miles up....what do you think?

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cranjag21 March 17 2014 at 7:55 AM

that plane is hiding somewhere, didnt crash. diffinitly a inside job.

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1 reply
crockjack cranjag21 March 17 2014 at 8:06 AM

That's the most sensible comment I have read so far!

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tpm March 17 2014 at 7:54 AM

How tragic that sorry people are posting jokes here.

Please pray for all involved in this tragedy. The poor families...feel so deeply sorry for them.

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2 replies
keithdelliott tpm March 17 2014 at 7:58 AM

This entire story is a massive joke. The way of has been handled and reported is ridiculous. The media has NO IDEA about anything. There are 50 different theories. Laugh along - it's funny.

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2 replies
elletb keithdelliott March 17 2014 at 8:11 AM

No, it is not funny, whether mechanical failure, or human intervention.

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fjasion keithdelliott March 17 2014 at 8:16 AM


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Jess tpm March 17 2014 at 8:10 AM

I have been saying this since it happened, I think you are so right!! I think some landed it on a private landing strip and God only knows what has happened to all the passengers. I pray they are all ok. This is such a crazy time we are all living in. All we can do is pray.

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Hello CARMELITA March 17 2014 at 8:27 AM

My heart goes out to the families of the people who were on this flight. The probability of them being alive is slim to none. No theories from me, just lots of compassion for their families.

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tdv50 March 17 2014 at 5:07 PM

I see the lead up to another 9-11 False flag Obumbler needs a major distraction right now !!\\

Posted this early today... Took the Crap from the Obumbler Flock.. Funny (or not so ) its all over as a real threat now.

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chefjohnp March 17 2014 at 8:18 AM

At this time it's anyone's guess what exactly happened. All I can say is that the crew, if involved, just didn't decide to take a Boeing 777 out for a joy ride, this was very well planned out. The question though is why? There hasn't been any admission of hijacking from any militant groups, no ransom, no witnesses, no anything. Bizarre.

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1 reply
KAREN chefjohnp March 17 2014 at 8:36 AM

The very fact that no one has claimed responsibility is even more troubling. We may find out the hard way.

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Tim March 17 2014 at 8:32 AM

This plane is Possibly their new ICBM. It's got around 100,000 lbs. of payload capacity for enough extra fuel to fly just about anywhere they want!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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