More than four days after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 lost contact with control during its journey to Beijing, Malaysian authorities have uncovered the last communication received before the mysterious disappearance.
Flight MH370 replied “All right, roger that” to a radio message from Malaysian air control, suggesting that all was normal on board minutes before the aircraft went missing.
As of Wednesday, the search for the plane carrying 239 people was widened to waters off both sides of the peninsula. If you recall, the flight vanished about an hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, as it flew over the South China Sea, south of Vietnam’s Ca Mau peninsula. No distress signal or message was sent.
Authorities have not, however, been able to determine which direction the plane was heading when it disappeared.
According to the Associated Press:
Amid intensifying confusion and occasionally contradictory statements, the country’s civil aviation authorities and the military both said the plane may have turned back from its last known position between Malaysian and Vietnam, possibly as far as the Strait of Malacca, a busy shipping lane on the western side of Malaysia.
How it might have done this without being clearly detected remains a mystery, raising questions over whether its electrical systems, including transponders allowing it to be spotted by radar, were either knocked out or turned off. If it did manage to fly on, it would challenge earlier theories that the plane may have suffered a catastrophic incident, initially thought reasonable because it didn’t send out any distress signals.
But information received from an oil rig worker on the south-eastern coast of Vietnam may be the lead authorities are looking for. In an email sent to his employer, which was acquired, confirmed, and then shared by ABC journalist Bob Woodruff, the man says, “I believe I saw the Malaysian Airlines plane come down. The timing is right.”
According to Mashable:
He describes seeing what he believes to be the plane burning — in one piece — at high altitude, flying perpendicular to the standard plane routes that cross over the area. “From when I first saw the burning (plane) until the flames went out (still at high altitude) was 10-15 seconds. There was no lateral movement, so it was either coming toward our location, stationary, or going away from our location,” he writes.
But days later, search teams are still at square one. No wreckage has been recovered in the widespread search and family members of passengers onboard are seeking answers from an airline that has none.
As of now, authorities have not ruled out any possible cause, including mechanical failure, pilot error, sabotage or terrorism in the disappearance of the plane.
We’ll keep you updated with the latest in this bizarre disappearance.