Malaysian Airline Flight MH370: Official Claims It Was Hijacked, PM Najib Razak Refuses To Confirm, But Says ‘Deliberate Action’ Led To Its Disappearance

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By Anne Lu | March 15, 2014 10:38 PM EST

The missing Malaysian Airline flight MH370 was hijacked, Malaysian officials said that the finding was conclusive. Prime Minister Najib Razak refused to confirm the report, but said “deliberate action” on plane led to its disappearance.

Reuters
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (C) arrives at the holding area for family and friends of passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang March 8, 2014. The flight carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew went missing over the South China Sea on Saturday, presumed crashed, as ships from countries closest to its flight path scoured a large search area for any wreckage. Vietnamese state media, quoting a senior naval official, had reported that the Boeing 777-200ER flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing had crashed off south Vietnam, but Malaysia's transport minister later denied any crash scene had been identified. REUTERS/Samsul Said

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A Malaysian government official said that the hijacking theory was “conclusive,” with the police now searching the home of one of the pilots.

According to the Daily Mail, the representative said that people with significant flying experience could have turned off the communication devices of the plane, and that they have flown it up to six hours after it was lost by satellite.

PM Razak refused to confirm or deny the hijack theory, but said that there was a “deliberate action” on board, resulting in the plane turning back from its flight to Beijing and losing connection with the ground crews.

At a press conference on Saturday, Mr Najib confirmed speculations that the disappearance of the Boeing 777 plane was not accidental.

It is not clear where was the exact point in which the plane was taken, but he said that the most recent satellite data allows investigators to focus on two possible “corridors,” a northern corridor from northern Thailand through to the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, and a southern corridor from Indonesia to Southern Indian Ocean.

The plane was carrying about 7.5 hours of fuel, which means that it could have reached land anywhere in the South and Southeast Asia.

“Clearly, the search has entered a new phase. Over the last seven days, we have followed every lead and looked into every possibility,” Mr Razak said in a statement. “For family and friends (of the passengers), we hope this new information brings us one step closer to finding the plane.”

Authorities are now focusing their investigation on who may have taken control of the plane. Their search will include the two pilots, 53-year-old Zaharie Ahmad Shah and 27-year-old Fariq Abdul Hamid, and ten crew members of the plane, as well as the 227 passengers on board.

The two pilots’ psychological background, their family life, and connections are also being investigated.

Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 departed from Kuala Lumpur on March 8 at 12:41 am local time. It was expected to land in Beijing at 6:30 am local time after travelling approximately 4,350 kilometres.

However, about 45 minutes after taking off at 1:30 am, air traffic controllers in Subang reported that they have lost communication with the flight. The last known coordinates of the plane were 05 55 15n 103 34 43e.

The transponder and the messaging system of the Boeing 777 plane were disabled 12 minutes apart, which, experts said, was unlikely in case there was an in-flight catastrophe. It could only mean that someone onboard the plane was behind it.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (C) arrives at the holding area for family and friends of passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang March 8, 2014. The flight carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew went missing over the South China Sea on Saturday, presumed crashed, as ships from countries closest to its flight path scoured a large search area for any wreckage. Vietnamese state media, quoting a senior naval official, had reported that the Boeing 777-200ER flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing had crashed off south Vietnam, but Malaysia's transport minister later denied any crash scene had been identified. REUTERS/Samsul Said
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