On the 8th of March 2014, the Malaysian Airline flight MH370, which had 12 crew members and 227 passengers on board, disappeared after the plane departed from Kuala Lumpur International Airport on its way to Beijing Capital International airport.
The plane last made contact with air traffic control less than an hour after take-off. On the day that contact with the aircraft was lost, a joint rescue team, which was reported as the largest rescue team in history, was started in the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea (the search area was later on extended considerably). By the 18th of March, 26 countries were participating in the search for the missing plane.
Rumours have been rife about the possibilities of the exact cause for the disappearance. One theory suggested that the pilots, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah and his co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, deliberately threw the aircraft off course after Malaysian authorities confirmed that the plane's tracking devices were switched off in the cockpit.
Several reports have also suggested that Captain Shah’s wife and children had moved out of his home a day before the flight. A fellow pilot and friend of Captain Shah told the New Zealand Herald that he had been "terribly upset" by relationship problems. Nevertheless, Shah has been described by Malaysian opposition leader, Mr Arwan, as a ‘‘decent man” and “close friend”.
Two satellite images taken on 16th March and 18th March hinted that possible debris was lurking in the southern Indian Ocean on the southwest of Western Australia.
New satellite photos taken on 23rd March revealed 122 objects of potential debris of flight MH370. As of today, none of the debris has been obtained for further examination by the searching ships in the area. On this day, sadly, it was that ‘beyond all reasonable doubt the plane had crashed in the Indian Ocean.
At the time of going to press the exact cause of the incident was still unkown.
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Mr Emlyn Lumley
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