Malaysia Flight MH370: Hijack Theory Dismissed, Foreign Reports Sensationalised, Says Malaysia
By Athena Yenko | March 14, 2014 2:14 PM EST
In Malaysia, officials are dismissing foreign media reports about the missing Malaysia airlines MH370 one after the other, saying such reports are unverified, worse, sensationalised.
One such report was the hijack theory reported by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
In the WSJ's report, US investigators, counter-terrorism experts, were claiming possibility of hijacking - the plane and passengers were being held against their will. The report said that the ones responsible for the hijacking turned the plane's transponder off to evade all detection through radar.
"Such unverified reports and rumours will disrupt our search and rescue operation," he told a press conference yesterday. Irresponsible acts such as these will affect the families (of MH370's passengers and crew) as well," Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said.
Mr Hisham also ruled out the report that a Chinese satellite was able to photograph debris near the missing MH370 vanished. He said that this still needs to be confirmed. Hence, a Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency was deployed to investigate the debris.
"But we found nothing at the site. The Chinese Embassy later notified us that the images were released by mistake and that the debris was not from MH370," Mr Hisham explained.
Mr Hisham told press that Huang Huikang, the Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia, sent him a note apologising for the mistake.
Meanwhile, MAS (Malaysia Airlines) chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya also dismissed reports that the missing MH370 was flying for hours before vanishing from radar. Speaking in a press conference, he explained that the MH370 did not continue sending signals to the ground after it lost contact with air traffic control.
Mr Jauhari Yahya said that engine manufacturer, Roll Royce, and Boeing told MAS that the report was inaccurate. The last transmission from MH370's Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) was at 1.07am (on Saturday).
"Both manufacturers, who are here in Malaysia, said they did not receive such data after the final one that was transmitted by the engines (monitoring system) at 1.07am. That transmission indicated that everything was normal," Mr Ahmad Jauhari explained.
Mr Ahmad Jauhari made it clear that MH370's ACARS could be programmed to transmit data at pre-determined intervals.
"This can be during a take-off, after reaching the top of a climb or every 30 minutes. It can also transmit data in the event of any abnormality in the engines or airframe," he said.
The press asked Mr Ahmad Jauhari if ACARS, the digital link for the plane to send messages to ground personnel about aircraft status, could be manually switched off.
"Anything is possible in an aircraft system. You can have total electrical failure and (if this happens) it won't transmit anything," he said.
On the other hand, Mr Ahmad Jauhari confirmed that there were already 43 ships and 40 aircrafts conducting search for the missing plane - with 26 ships and 25 aircraft in the South China Sea and the rest in the Straits of Malacca.
Even with Malaysia dismissing reports from foreign media, he said the country was thankful for all the aid coming in from other countries.
"With every passing day, the task becomes more difficult. As always, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those on the flight."
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