New uncertainty about missing Malaysian plane
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Officials have revealed a new timeline suggesting the final voice transmission from the cockpit of the missing Malaysian plane may have occurred before any of its communications systems were disabled, adding more uncertainty about who aboard might have been to blame.
The search for Flight 370, which vanished early March 8 while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, has now been expanded deep into the northern and southern hemispheres. Australian vessels scoured the southern Indian Ocean and China offered 21 of its satellites to help Malaysia in the unprecedented hunt.
Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein shows maps of southern corridor and northern corridor of the search and rescue operation during a press conference at a hotel near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, in Sepang, Malaysia, Monday, March 17, 2014. Twenty-six countries are involved in the massive international search for the Malaysia Airlines jetliner that disappeared on March 8 with 239 people aboard. They include not just military assets on land, at sea and in the air, but also investigators and the specific support and assistance requested by Malaysia, such as radar and satellite information. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
With no wreckage found in one of the most puzzling aviation mysteries of all time, passengers' relatives have been left in an agonizing limbo.
Investigators say the Boeing 777 was deliberately diverted during its overnight flight and flew off-course for hours. They haven't ruled out hijacking, sabotage, or pilot suicide, and are checking the backgrounds of the 227 passengers and 12 crew members — as well as the ground crew — for personal problems, psychological issues or links to terrorists.
Malaysian acting Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein, center, shows maps of South Corridor and North Corridor of the search and rescue as director general of the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, right, and Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister Hamzah Zainudin during a press conference at a hotel next to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, in Sepang, Malaysia, Monday, March 17, 2014. The search for the missing Malaysian jet pushed deep into the northern and southern hemispheres Monday as Australia took the lead in scouring the seas of the southern Indian Ocean and Kazakhstan - about 10,000 miles to the northwest - answered Malaysia's call for help in the unprecedented hunt. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Monday that finding the plane was still the main focus, and he did not rule out that it might be discovered intact.