Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370: New Zealander Mike McKay Saw Plane Go Down in Flames, Officials Investigate Email Details

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A tourist writes a message expressing hope for family members and those onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, in Kuala Lumpur
A tourist from Vietnam writes a message expressing hope for family members and those onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, in Kuala Lumpur March 12, 2014. REUTERS/Samsul Said


A New Zealander working on an oil rig in Vietnam claimed he saw the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 plane go down in flames.

Mike McKay wrote in an email that he tried to contact authorities in Vietnam and Malaysia "several days ago" but he could not confirm if they received his message. Mr McKay gave the details of his passport number and coordinates in the message he sent to authorities.

News agencies have already picked up on the New Zealand man's claims of witnessing the Malaysian Airlines plane. An official in Vietnam has confirmed that the government is investigating the report of Mr McKay's email.

According to ABC News, Mr McKay's employer has confirmed that his sighting of the lost Malaysian Airlines plane was indeed legitimate. Mr McKay said he believed it was the Malaysian Airlines plane he saw go down and the "timing is right."

Mr McKay wrote that he has seen the plane burning at high altitude for about 10 to 15 seconds. He observed the Malaysian Airlines plane did move in a lateral direction so he guessed that it was coming towards his location or moving away.

While Mr McKay was observing the burning plane, the aircraft appeared to be in one piece. He sent his exact coordinates to officials including details of wind direction, surface sea current and the estimated distance of the plane from his location which was about 50 to 70 kilometres away.

Doann Huu Gia, Vietnamese air traffic management deputy general director, has confirmed an aircraft has already been sent to the alleged location to investigate the claims of Mr McKay. Mr Gia told Radio New Zealand that they received an email sent by the New Zealander.

Mr Gia said the man spotted a burning object 300km southeast from the oil rig that he was working on off Vung Tau.

Bob Woodruff, ABC News correspondent, confirmed on Twitter that he had contacted the Japanese Idemitsu Oil and Gas Co who had contracted Mr McKay's employer Songa Mercur drill.

If Mr McKay's claims are found to be true, the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 plane would be close to where it was originally believed by investigating authorities to have disappeared. The aircraft has 239 people aboard with passengers coming from different countries including two Kiwis.

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