According to officials, the missing Malaysia Airlines jet was hijacked, steered off-course and could have reached Pakistan.
It appears that people with significant flying experience could have turned off flight MH370’s communication devices.
A Malaysian government official said that hijacking theory was now “conclusive”, and, as a result, police have raided the luxury homes of both the captain and the co-pilot.
The search operation has now been focused on two “corridors”, one which extends from north west from Thailand to the Kazakstan-Turkmenistan border and the other which opens out into the southern Indian Ocean.
Countries in the plane’s potential flightpath have now joined a huge diplomatic effort to locate the missing passengers, but China described the revelation as “painfully belated”.
While Malaysian PM Najib Razak refused to confirm that flight MH370 was taken over, he admitted “deliberate action” on board the plane resulted in it changing course and losing connection with ground crews.
The plane’s communication system was switched off as it headed west over the Malaysian seaboard and could have flown for another seven hours on its fuel reserves.
It is not yet clear where the plane could have been taken, however PM Najib Razak said the most recent satellite data suggests the plane could have headed to one of two possible flight corridors.
The last radar contact was made at 8.11 a.m. on March 8 along one of the corridors, 7 hours and 31 minutes after takeoff, but the plane could have deviated further from these points.
US investigators have not ruled out the possibility that the passengers are being held at an unknown location and suggest that faint “pings” were being transmitted for several hours after the flight lost contact with the ground.
NASA has also joined the international search operation, analyzing satellite data and images that have already been gathered.
Malaysian authorities and others are investigating the two pilots and 10 crew members, along with the 227 passengers on board.
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