• Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Missing Malaysian jet

No groups have made any demands on missing plane

A man holds a model plane with well-wishing messages for the passengers of the missing Malaysian Airline plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, 15 March 2014. Photo: The Star
A man holds a model plane with well-wishing messages for the passengers of the missing Malaysian Airline plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, 15 March 2014. Photo: The Star

No groups have made any demands over the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370, Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said, even as he refuted rumours that the plane has landed somewhere.

At a press conference on Sunday, Hishammuddin  declined to comment on speculation that it could be a 9/11-style attack, saying that "it is difficult to determine if it is hijack or terrorism".

The search for the missing plane entered a dramatic new phase on Saturday after Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak acknowledged for the first time that the plane was deliberately diverted, and that it could have gone as far north as Kazakhstan in Central Asia or southwards towards the Indian Ocean.

Malaysia Airlines chief Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said that the plane took off with planned fuel and was not carrying additional fuel.

The aircraft had fuel to fly up to 8 hours, he said, adding that there was no hazardous material in the cargo.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, who was also present at the press conference on Sunday, said investigation now includes ground staff, as well as crew and passengers of the plane.

Investigations include possibility of hijack, sabotage and terrorism, he added.

The Government said earlier on Sunday that police had searched the homes of the two pilots of the missing plane and were examining the captain's home flight simulator, but cautioned it was a "normal" procedure.

Flight MH370, with 239 people on board, went missing near the South China Sea on March 8.

The revelation refocused attention on the background of the 239 passengers and crew, while sparking both outrage and relief among anxious family members in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing.

Published: 5:51 pm Sunday, March 16, 2014

Last modified: 11:14 pm Sunday, March 16, 2014

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