Malaysia yesterday rejected claims that phone calls were made from Flight MH370 before it vanished, but refused to rule out any possibility in a so far fruitless investigation into the jet's disappearance.
The New Straits Times, quoting an anonymous source, had reported Saturday that co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid made a call which ended abruptly, possibly "because the aircraft was fast moving away from the (telecommunications) tower".
There had also been unconfirmed reports of calls by the Malaysia Airlines plane's captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah before or during the flight.
Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters that authorities had no knowledge of any calls from the jet's cockpit.
"As far as I know, no," he said when asked if any calls had been made.
Pilots Fariq and Zaharie have come under intense scrutiny since the plane vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board on March 8, with still no clue as to the cause of the disappearance.
Several theories have been put forward, including hijacking, a terrorist plot or a pilot gone rogue. But authorities are grasping at straws as to the fate of the plane without crucial data from the jet's "black box" flight recorder, which has yet to be located, and without any wreckage.
Several sonic 'pings' which authorities have said are consistent with a black box have been detected by ships in the search area in the remote southern Indian Ocean.
But Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Centre, which is leading the search, said yesterday that another 24 hours had passed without a confirmed signal, increasing fears that batteries in the beacons attached to the plane's two black boxes may now have run flat.