• Friday, August 22, 2014

MISSING MALAYSIAN JETLINER

Maldives islanders saw 'low flying plane'

Star Online Report
Ships have been waiting until dawn to investigate the reported debris. Photo: AP
Ships have been waiting until dawn to investigate the reported debris. Photo: AP

As multiple nations search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, reports are emerging that the plane was spotted by some people near the Maldivian islands, reports the Times of India.

Maldivian news website Haveeru reported that residents of the remote Maldives island of Kuda Huvadhoo in Dhaal Atoll said they saw a "low-flying jumbo jet" around 6.15am (Maldivian time) on March 8, the day when the flight disappeared.

It also said the residents reported that it was a white aircraft, with red stripes across it like the planes operated by Malaysia Airlines.

Haveeru quoted an eyewitness as saying: "I've never seen a jet flying so low over our island before. We've seen seaplanes, but I'm sure that this was not one of those. I could even make out the doors on the plane clearly."

The eyewitness said many other people on the island have also seen the plane.

Malaysia along with many countries is scouring for the missing plane in sea and land.

CHINA STARTS SEARCHING ITS TERRITORY

Meanwhile, China has started searching its territory in Tibet and Xinjiang for the Boeing 777-200 which has been missing for 11 days now, China's ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang said on Tuesday. International efforts to locate the plane failed to achieve any breakthrough in the mysterious disappearance of the plane so far.

However, Beijing has ruled out the involvement of its nationals on board the aircraft carrying 239 people in any hijack attempt.

The search began after India, Pakistan and several other countries in the region denied that the plane might have flown over their territories towards Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

Based on latest information, the new search areas encompass a northern corridor stretching approximately from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, as well as a southern one from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.

China said it was extremely concerned over the missing plane as 154 of the passengers are its nationals. China has said that it has also deployed 21 satellites to search for the jetliner.

Earlier, Malaysia maintained that the disappearance of its plane was a deliberate act.

Fresh reports surfaced that the jet's planned path was altered through a cockpit computer system.

Malaysia's defence and transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters that the search area now covers a vast area of 2.24 million square nautical miles (7.7 million square kilometres).

Twenty-six counties are assisting in the search operations.

Published: 11:47 am Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Last modified: 10:18 pm Wednesday, March 19, 2014

TAGS: China Times of India Boeing Maldives MH370 Malaysia Airlines plane Haveeru

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