UPDATE: As of Monday, March 24th, it has been declared by Malaysia’s Prime Minister that the missing flight went down in the Southern Indian Ocean, according to the New York Times. Officials of Malaysia Airlines have began sending text messages to families of passengers aboard the flight.
Malaysian Airlines flight 370 vanished three days ago. Officials have followed many leads and still no aircraft has been recovered. The plane took off from Kuala Lumpur carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members on route to Beijing. Of the 227 passengers, 154 people were Chinese and Taiwanese, 38 Malaysians, five Indian, and three American citizens.
Authorities sent many ships to investigate the disappearance of the aircraft. Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, the director general of the Malaysian Civil Aviation Department, told CNN, “The newly expanded search area encompasses a larger portion of the Gulf of Thailand between Malaysia and Vietnam.”
Recently debris has been seen south of Hong Kong, “but it will likely be Tuesday before authorities know if there is anything to those reports,” said Rahman to CNN.
In 2009 Air France flight 447 fell from the sky. Four searches took place over the course of two years to find the majority of the remains of the plane. It was in 2011 that the plane’s voice recorder and data recorder were found at the bottom of the ocean. Finally, in 2012, the investigators published their report, blaming the crash on errors made by the pilot and failure to react to a technical problem.
Authorities have also uncovered that two people on board the plane were traveling with stolen passports from Austria and Italy.
With the stolen passports being found, a question of terrorism has been raised. Officials say it is too early to arrive at any conclusions but have not thrown out terrorism as a possible answer to the disappearance of the plane. Another possible explanation for the stolen passports is illegal immigration.
Malaysia has expressed the importance of the plane to be found and has told the victims families to prepare for the worst.