Flight MH370 Live Blog - Live Blogs - Al Jazeera English

Flight MH370 Live Blog

The search continues for the plane that went missing between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing with 239 people on board.

  • The last words from a Malaysian passenger jet missing for 10 days were apparently spoken by the co-pilot, the airline said on Monday.

    The last message from the cockpit "All right, good night" came around the time that two of the plane's crucial signalling  systems were manually disabled.

    Clarification that the voice was most likely that of First Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid came during a press conference.

    "Initial investigations indicate it was the co-pilot who basically spoke," said Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.

    The last signal from the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting  System (ACARS) was received 12 minutes before the co-pilot's final words.

    The transponder, which relays a plane's location, was switched off just two minutes after he spoke, and a few minutes later the aircraft turned back on its flight path.
    [AFP]
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  • The co-pilot of a missing Malaysian jetliner spoke the last words heard from the cockpit, the airline's chief executive said, as investigators consider suicide by the captain or first officer as one possible explanation for the plane's disappearance.

    Asked if suicide by the pilot or co-pilot was a line of inquiry, Malaysian Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said: "We are looking at it." But it was only one of the possibilities under investigation, he said.
    [Reuters]
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  • Three million people have joined an  effort led by a satellite operator to locate the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, in what may be the largest crowdsourcing project of its kind.

    The satellite firm DigitalGlobe said Monday that its search area now has some 24,000 square kilometers and that more images are  being added daily, including a new area in the Indian Ocean.

    The company uses an algorithm called CrowdRank to determine the most promising leads, paying close attention to overlap where people tagged the same location. 

    "DigitalGlobe's expert analysts will examine the tags to identify the top 10 or so most notable areas and share the information with customers and authorities," a statement said.
    [AFP]
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  • Read Al Jazeera's full report here

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  • China said there is no evidence of Chinese passengers being involved in a hijack or terror attack on a missing Malaysia Airlines flight that vanished on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing earlier this month, state media on Tuesday cited China's ambassador to Malaysia as saying.

    Ambassador Huang Huikang told Chinese reporters that Beijing had carried out a detailed investigation of the Chinese passengers and could rule out their involvement.
    [Reuters]
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  • A US naval ship that has been aiding the international search for a missing Malaysian airliner will be withdrawn from
    the effort, Pentagon officials said Monday.

    The decision to take the USS Kidd off the search was taken because the search area was now so extensive that it was more efficient to look for the jet using surveillance aircraft, officials said.

    The Kidd, with a MH-60 helicopter on board, had completed a search of 15,000 square miles but "no debris or wreckage associated with an aircraft was found," it said.

    At one point both the Kidd and another US destroyer were taking part in the search but now the US navy planned to rely on a P-8 Poseidon plane and a P-3 Orion aircraft for the effort, officials said.
    [AFP]
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  • No 'red flags' among Chinese passengers says China:

    Intelligence checks on the 153 Chinese passengers aboard a missing Malaysian airliner produced no red flags, China said on Tuesday, as investigators struggled to clarify events that led to the plane's dramatic disappearance.

    China's ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang said no evidence had been found that would link anyone to a possible hijacking or terrorist attack on the jet, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

    Huang also said China had begun searching for the aircraft in its own territory but gave no further details. 

    [AFP]
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  • Australia reduces search area:

    Australia's maritime safety agency said on Tuesday it had sharply reduced its search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner to a 600,000 sq km corridor in the southern Indian Ocean, but that is still roughly the size of Spain and Portugal combined.

    [Reuters]
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  • Prayers for MH370 during a Buddhist ceremony:

     
     

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    Residents of Boeung Kak Lake held a Buddhist ceremony, praying for the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370, in Phnom Penh on Saturday. The ceremony also included prayers for the release of 21 detainees who have been jailed since January 3, when military police opened fire on workers striking over low pay, killing four people.

    [Picture credits: Reuters]

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  • Malaysia denies giving US the cold shoulder:

    Malaysia rejected criticism on Tuesday from US government officials that it has not been sharing as much information as it could with foreign governments about the disappearance of passenger jet more than a week ago.

    "It's up for the FBI to tell us if they need more experts to help because it's not for us to know what they have."


    Malaysia's Defence and Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein

    [Reuters]
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  • Relatives threaten to go on hunger strike over lack of information:

    Desperate relatives of Chinese passengers aboard flight MH370 threatened to go on hunger strike Tuesday as they demanded answers about the missing aircraft from Malaysian officials.

    "Now we have no news, and everyone is understandably worried. The relatives say they will go to the (Malaysian embassy to find the ambassador," said Wen  Wancheng, whose son was aboard the missing flight.

    "The Malaysian ambassador should be presenting himself here. But he's not," Wen said, updating reporters after a regular meeting between Malaysia Airlines officials and family members at a hotel in Beijing. 

    [AFP]
     The message reads: "Hunger strike. Tell us the truth. Return us our families." [Reuters] 

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  • China said on Tuesday that it has deployed 21 satellites to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner.
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  • Checks into the background of the Chinese citizens on board the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner have uncovered no links to terrorism, the Chinese ambassador in Kuala Lumpur said Tuesday.

    [AP]
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  • Thailand shares radar data on plane that might be Flight 370, 10 days after its disappearance.
    [AP]
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  • Thai military radar might have tracked missing plane

    Ten days after a Malaysian jetliner disappeared, Thailand's military said on Tuesday it saw radar blips that might have been from the missing plane but didn't report it "because we did not pay attention to it."

    Military officials said their own radar showed an unidentified plane, possibly Flight 370, flying toward the strait beginning minutes after the Malaysian jet's transponder signal was lost.

    Commander William Marks, a spokesman for the US 7th Fleet, said finding the plane was like trying to locate a few people somewhere between New York and California.
    [Associated Press]
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  • Relatives of MH370's Chinese passengers grow anxious
    by Al Jazeera English via YouTube

    Relatives of Chinese passengers aboard flight MH370 are threatening to go on hunger strike. 

    They are demanding answers about the missing aircraft from Malaysian officials. 

    Al Jazeera's Rob McBride reports from Hong Kong.
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  • A woman looks at messages of support left for family members and passengers onboard the missing flight MH370 at the Kuala Lumpur Airport [Reuters] 

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  • An international land and sea search for a missing Malaysian jetliner is covering an area the size of Australia, authorities said on Tuesday, but police and intelligence agencies have yet to establish a clear motive to explain its disappearance.

    Investigators are convinced that someone with deep knowledge of the Boeing 777-200ER and commercial navigation diverted Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, carrying 12 crew and 227 mainly Chinese passengers, perhaps thousands of miles off its scheduled course from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

    Malaysian Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told a news conference the "unique, unprecedented" search
    covered a total area of 7.68 million sq km, from central Asia to the southern Indian Ocean.
    [Reuters]
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  • Messages of support are hung at a special event for missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 in Kuala Lumpur [Reuters] 

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  • Maldives police probe reports of MH370 sighting

    Police in the Maldives are probing  reports that islanders in the tourism paradise saw a "low-flying jumbo jet" on the day the missing Malaysia Airlines plane vanished, according to the AFP news agency.
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  • Jet likely to be in the southern Indian Ocean

    Investigators probing the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner with 239 people on board believe it most likely flew into the southern Indian Ocean, a source close to the investigation said on Wednesday. [Reuters]
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  • Data deleted from pilot's flight simulator

    Data was deleted from the home flight simulator used by the pilot of missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 and investigators are working to recover it, a Malaysian official said.

    Police had removed the simulator from Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah's home last Saturday, after it became clear that the aircraft had likely been deliberately diverted by someone on board.

    In a daily press briefing on Wednesday, Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia's
    minister of transport and defence, also said background checks on all but
    three of the 239 passengers and crew on board the plane had produced no
    "information of significance".

    [AFP]

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  • Malaysian officials dismiss Maldives sighting claims

    Malaysian authorities  dismissed reports that islanders from the Maldives had seen a "low-flying jumbo jet" that could have been the missing MH370 plane, implying another false alarm in the 11-day search for the aircraft. 

    Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters at a news conference in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday afternoon that the Maldives air force chief had informed him that the reports were "not true".

    Police in the Maldives, a honeymoon destination in the Indian Ocean, began investigating on Tuesday after the national Haveeru newspaper reported that residents of a remote southern island had spotted a large plane flying over them on March 8. 

    [AFP]

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  • FBI analyse missing pilot's flight simulator

    The FBI has joined forces with Malaysian authorities in analysing deleted data on a flight simulator belonging to the pilot of missing Malaysia Airlines plane MH370.

    Files containing records of flight simulations were deleted on Februray 3 from the device found in the home of the Malaysia Airlines pilot, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu said.

    The files might hold signs of unusual flight paths that could help explain where the missing plane went.
    [Associated Press]
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  • Relatives of M370 passengers frustrated
    by Al Jazeera English via YouTube

    Distraught relatives of passengers on board Malaysia's missing airliner have lashed out over the lack of information about what's happened to their loved ones. 

    Some relatives were removed from a briefing in Kuala Lumpur - where the Malaysian government was giving an update on the search for flight MH-370. 

    While a massive search is underway, covering an area that is larger than Australia as a whole, relative's patience is running thin. 

    Al Jazeera's Nicole Johnston reports from Kuala Lumpur.
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  • US President Barack Obama designated the search for a missing Malaysian passenger jet a "top priority" for the United States as Malaysia shared evidence with the FBI and sought Thursday to pacify relatives' anger at the lack of progress.

    "I want them to be assured that we consider this a top priority," he said in a television interview at the White House.

    Obama stressed there had been "close cooperation" with the Malaysian government and added that the United States had put "every resource that we have available" at the disposal of the search process.

    There were three US nationals, including an infant, on board.
    [AFP]
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  • Australia's prime minister says objects possibly related to the missing Malaysia flight #MH370 have been spotted on satellite imagery 
    [Associated Press]
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  • Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Thursday satellite imagery had found two objects possibly related to the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

    Missing since March 8 with 239 people on board, Abbott told parliament "new and credible information has come to light in relation to the search... in the south Indian Ocean." 

    "The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has received information based on satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search."

    Abbott said aircraft were en route to the area where the objects were found.

    According to the Associated Press, the Orion aircraft was expected to arrive in the area in Thursday afternoon with three additional aircraft  expected to follow for a more intensive search. 

    Abbott cautioned, however, that the task of locating these objects would be extremely difficult and "it may turn out that they are not related to the search for flight MH370."
    [Agencies]
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  • Tom Ballantyne, an aviation expert, talks to Al Jazeera about "the most promising" development since the Malaysian plane went missing.

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  • Norwegian ship reaches area where Malaysia plane debris may have been spotted

    The Norwegian car carrier Hoegh St. Petersburg has reached the area in the southern Indian Ocean off Australia where two floating objects, suspected to be debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner, were spotted, the ship owner's said on Thursday.

    The car carrier was on its way from Madagascar to Melbourne when it got a request from Australian authorities to assist in investigating the objects spotted by satellite four days ago in one of the remotest parts of the globe, around 2,500 km southwest of Perth. [Reuters]
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  • Al Jazeera's Nicole Johnston reports from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the latest developments of the missing Malaysian Airlines passenger plane.

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  • Australian rescue officials say a search in the southern Indian Ocean for possible objects from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane has ended for the day but will resume in the morning.

    A statement from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority says four planes searched an area about 2,500 kilometres (1,550 miles) southwest of Perth on Thursday.

    [AP]
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  • China sending more ships to plane search area: Xinhua

    At least seven Chinese ships were to head for the southern Indian Ocean, where possible debris from a missing Malaysia Airlines plane has been sighted, state media reported.

    The official Xinhua news agency said on Friday that rescue ships Haixun 01 and 31 and Nanhaijiu 101 and 115 were to depart for the search area.

    Three other navy ships were already on their way, it added.

    Xinhua also said the Antarctic research icebreaker Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, would head for the area "as soon as possible".

    Australia said Thursday that satellites had captured images of objects in the southern Indian Ocean, with the largest estimated at 24 metres across.

    The announcement raised hopes of a breakthrough in the mysterious disappearance of the MH370, but officials cautioned that the apparent sighting needed to be confirmed.

    Of the 239 people aboard the Boeing 777, which went missing on March 8 during an overnight flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, 153 are from China. [AFP]
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  • Australian PM: Families of missing Malaysian plane have right to know

    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott defended his decision to reveal authorities had spotted possible wreckage from a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, saying he owed it to the families affected.

    Asked whether he had "jumped the gun" on the release of the information, given that the grainy images taken Sunday were indistinct, Abbott said the families of those onboard were owed the information.

    "We owe it to the families and the friends and the loved ones of the almost 240 people on Flight MH370 to do everything we can to try to resolve what is as  yet an extraordinary riddle," he told reporters.

    Abbott told parliament in Canberra on Thursday that satellite images had shown two objects in the southern Indian Ocean which could have come from flight MH370, raising hopes of a breakthrough in the Malaysian plane's mysterious disappearance. [AFP]
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  • In addition to Friday prayers, Muslims across Malaysia prayed a special prayer for the passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
    [Reuters] 


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  • Royal Australian Air Force Loadmasters, Sergeant Adam Roberts (L) and Flight Sergeant John Mancey, launch a 'Self Locating Data Marker Buoy' from a C-130J Hercules aircraft in the southern Indian Ocean during the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370
    [Reuters//Australian Defence Force] 


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  • US search for missing Malaysian jetliner cost $2.5 mln so far

    The U
    S military's search for the missing Malaysian jetliner has cost $2.5 million so far, the Pentagon estimated on Friday, adding it has set aside about $4 million for the hunt so far, enough to cover operations through to early April.

    It was the first disclosure of costs for the US ships and aircraft joining the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-370, which went missing almost two weeks ago with 239 people aboard.

    The United States initially dispatched the Navy's guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd, as well as the USS Pinckney, to comb the seas for any signs of wreckage. 

    They have been withdrawn. 

    [Reuters]
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  • Nothing spotted in search for jet, Australia says

    Search planes scoured a remote patch of the Indian Ocean but came back empty-handed on Friday after a 10-hour mission looking for any sign of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, another disappointing day in one of the world's biggest aviation mysteries.

    Australian officials pledged to continue the search for two large objects spotted by a satellite earlier this week, which had raised hopes that the two-week hunt for the Boeing 777 that disappeared March 8 with 239 people on board was nearing a breakthrough.

    But Australia's acting prime minister, Warren Truss, tamped down expectations.

    "Something that was floating on the sea that long ago may no longer be floating - it may have slipped to the bottom,'' he said. 

    "It's also certain that any debris or other material would have moved a significant distance over that time, potentially hundreds of kilometres."

    In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein thanked the more than two  dozen countries involved in the search that stretches from Kazakhstan in Central Asia to the southern Indian Ocean. 

    He said the focus remains on finding the airplane - an effort he described as "a long haul.''

    [AP]
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  • Japanese Air Self-Defense Force Capt. Junichi Tanoue scans the ocean aboard a C130 aircraft while it flies over the southern search area in the southeastern Indian Ocean
    [AP] 


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  • No debris found in Malaysia plane search

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  • Australia's Saturday search schedule

    The Australian Maritime Safety Authority [AMSA] has said it will send out six aircraft to search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight #MH370 on Saturday.

    Here is the AMSA's plane deployment schedule:
    *All times are expressed in Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time. Please note all departure times are approximate.9:00 am: Royal Australian Air Force [RAAF] P3 Orion 

    9:15 am: two ultra long range commercial jets
    11:00 am: second RAAF P3 Orion
    1:00 pm: New Zealand P3 Orion
    3:00 pm: third RAAF P3 Orion aircraft

    Two merchant vessels are also in the area and the Royal Australian Navy HMAS Success is also on its way to the search area.

    [AMSA]
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  • Saturday's planned search area


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