MH 370 : Flight to an Unknown Hell - The New Indian Express

MH 370 : Flight to an Unknown Hell

Published: 16th Mar 2014 07:57:16 AM

It was a flight that should have been like any other, full of the rituals of any ordinary air journey: passengers demanding the additional cola, the crying baby fussed over a by a pretty, smartly turned out air hostess, couples dozing with headphones humming favourite songs softly and the sleepless passenger in business class nursing a Pernod and reading a glossy. But for the 227 passengers and 12 crew members of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that took off on March 8 at 12.40am on its 4,300 kilometre flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing it would be a flight into mystery; one that remains unsolved till now. It is over a week since MH370 went missing and the massive search mounted by over 40 other vessels and 34 aircraft from 10 countries including India have discovered nothing. It is as if some new Bermuda Triangle had been born in the South China Sea, and the Boeing 777, which has a reputation of being one of the safest aircraft in the world, vanished into thin air.

The last words heard by airport control from the cockpit were, “All right, good night.” But like the ghost flights that disappeared earlier—the Lockheed Super Constellation jet flying Tiger Line flight 739 in March 1962, or the pair of British South American Airways passenger jets over the Bermuda Triangle in 1948 and 1949—would the story of MH370, abounding with conspiracy theories, territorial wrangling and a multimillion search operations be written in mist? Questions persist, and both interrogators and the media are desperately trying to find answers that may lie well hidden in the depths of the Indian Ocean. [Read: Territorial Disputes Add to Intrigue of Missing Flight ]

Did terrorists or a captor without an ideology hijack the plane?

New evidence unearthed by ABC News shows signs of a struggle in the cockpit of the missing plane. Before it disappeared, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 had veered hundreds of miles off course, travelling in the opposite direction from its original destination. It had stopped sending identifying transponder codes before it disappeared. In the initial days of the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines MH370, much effort and resources were wasted on verifying the antecedents of two passengers travelling on stolen Austrian and Italian passports—who boarded the plane undetected through immigration.

Aviation experts conclude that these are ominous signs that could show that someone in the cockpit might have deliberately steered the plane away from its intended destination. ABC Television broke a story late on Saturday that there was evidence of a struggle that had taken place in the cockpit. But no demands have been made by anyone—terrorists or otherwise.

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