Malaysian jet search: As it happened on Saturday

By Himanshu Kapoor | Last Updated: Sunday, March 23, 2014 - 00:38

Zee Media Bureau/Tarun Khanna and Himanshu Kapoor

22:52 pm Day`s search ends with sighting of `objects`

The search for the missing Malaysian airliner ended Saturday in the southern Indian Ocean with the sighting of some objects with the naked eye even as China said that one of its satellites has spotted an object in the search area.

“During Saturday’s search activities a civil aircraft tasked by AMSA (Australian Maritime Safety Authority) reported sighting a number of small objects with the naked eye, including a wooden pallet, within a radius of five km,” AMSA said in its latest update Saturday night on the search operation that is being conducted 2,500 km southwest of Perth, the capital of Western Australia - IANS reported.

21:40 pm Families grow frustrated

The Sydney Morning Herald today reported the families had become frustrated after feeling that their questions had not been answered.

families of passengers shouted at Malaysian officials for "concealing the truth" and "making fools" out of them. It resulted in police officers having to intervene.

20:11 pm Searchers yet to find flight MH370

China said its icebreaker "Snow Dragon" was heading for the search area, but was still around 70 hours away - Mirror reported.

Japan and India are also sending more planes and Australian and Chinese navy vessels were steaming towards the southern Indian Ocean.

19:39 pm Malaysian delegation lambasted

In a statement, Chinese relatives in Beijing lambasted a Malaysian delegation for "concealing the truth" and "making fools" out of the families after they said they left a meeting without answering all their questions.

Adding that “this kind of conduct neglects the lives of all the passengers, shows contempt for all their families, and even more, tramples on the dignity of Chinese people and the Chinese government."

18:10 pm Malaysian jet cockpit transcript revealed

The final 54 minutes transcript of conversations between the co-pilot and the control tower has been revealed by The Telegraph.

In the transcript includes exchanges from a point which the investigators the flight had already been sabotaged. They said that the messages appeared “perfectly routine”, however, two odd features stood out.

The conversations was between the co-pilot and the control tower, and other air traffic controllers in the transcript and it runs from the time the plane was taxiing to its last known position which was thousands of feet above the South China Sea.

The first was a message from the cockpit at 1.07am, saying the plane was flying at 35,000ft.

17:25 pm Norwegian firm ready to join jet hunt

Swire Seabed, a Bergen-based Norwegian company involved in the search for a missing Air France jetliner nearly five years back, has said it is ready to join a similar hunt aimed at locating the Malaysian airliner that went missing a fortnight back - IANS report.

"It takes time to search for objects on the seabed. For example, it will take about three weeks to perform a search operation in an area of 1,000 sq km, depending on water depth," said Frode Gaupaas, chief operating officer of Swire Seabed.

17:05 pm Chinese announcement on debris images in few hours

After Chinese satellites spotted `very large` debris, possibly of the Malaysian plane, China is sending two ships to the area to verify the floating object, which according to the satellite image is 22 metres long and 30 metres wide, Malaysian Defence and Transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein said.

Earlier, two Australian planes involved in the search operation returned without spotting anything.

16:20 pm: China to announce details of possible debris

Chinese government is expected to provide details of the satellite images of newly-found debris shortly.

Malasyian authorities have now confirmed the size of the object spotted by Chinese satellite to be 22m by 13m, correcting the initial statement stating the size to be 22m by 30m.

15:45 pm: China spots possible MH370 debris

Malaysian officials Saturday said that Chinese authorities have found debris in South China Sea, potentially from missing flight MH370, reports the BBC.

Although it is yet not identified how many objects have been sighted out, one of them is of 22m by 30m size. Moreover, it is unclear whether debris has been detected by Chinese satellite or passed to the Chinese government by a different satellite operator.

15:40 pm: Malaysia Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein issues cyclone warning in southern corridor

Malaysia Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein in a press briefing has confirmed that six planes are searching an area of 10,500 square nautical kilometres. He also said that a cyclone warning for Tropical Cyclone Gillian has been issued in the southern corridor.

While thanking 26 nations involved in the search for MH370, Hussein said that China, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Laos, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have confirmed that their radar data has shown no sign of the plane in their airspace.

15:00 pm: India`s radar record shows no trace of MH370

After going through its radar records, India has informed Malaysian authorities that it has no evidence of the missing airline crossing Indian airspace, as per Reuters report.

India`s response came after Kuala Lumpur requested it to check the radar record for any data. The data from India could have proved crucial in identifying whether the aircraft went north or south from its last known position after disappearing on March 8

14:20 pm: Relatives of 153 missing Chinese protest in Beijing

Highly upset with the lack of new information provided by Malaysian officials on the missing MH370, relatives of 153 missing Chinese held protest on Saturday during a press conference at the Lido hotel in Beijing, as reported by BBC.

Since the majority of the missing passengers in MH370 are Chinese, the relatives got frustrated on Malaysian officials for not providing adequate information on the plane. However, the police immediately intervened while the protesters were rushing towards the officials.

12:55 pm: Search operation may cost USD 4 million to Pentagon

According to the Pentagon, the search operation of the missing MH370 could cost it USD 4 million.

Pentagon spokesperson Army Col Steve Warren on Saturday said that USD 4 million have been set aside for the rescue operation of the missing plane. He further added that the total cost for supporting the plane search is now USD 2.5 million which includes operating costs of the ships and aircraft currently deployed.

11:36 am: Malaysia asks US military for undersea surveillance device

Malaysia`s Defence Minister and acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein on Saturday requested the US military to provide undersea surveillance equipment for the search of MH370.

Hussein made a phone call to the US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and asked for the undersea equipment. On the other hand, Hagel assured him that he would assess the availability and utility of the military equipment for such a task and provide him an update soon.
10:45 am: Telegraph accesses 54 minutes conversation between ATS, pilots

The Telegraph has accessed the transcript of the conversation between the ATS and the pilots of the missing Malaysian airliner.

While the 54 minutes conversation is being studied in details for leads, Telegraph claims that though the sequence of messages appear to be the routine ones, two potentially odd moments have been found.

9:55 am: Search for the missing plane resumes in remote seas

The rescue teams, searching for the missing MH370 in southern Indian Ocean, began their search on Saturday in an area where the satellite had detected debris two weeks ago.

While six aircraft and two merchant ships are searching the area, Australian authorities have cautioned that the objects, one up to 24 metres (72 feet) in length, may not to be of the missing airliner. The authorities also said that the debris is likely to have got sunk.

9:00 am: Weather favourable, yet no trace of MH370

Even after two weeks since the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing with 239 people on board, the international search in the vast area of the Indian Ocean yielded no result.

The searchers on Friday said that weather is now favourable in the southern Indian Ocean which is making human sighting possible.

However, Lt Russell Adams, who stepped off the AP-3C Orion search and rescue aircraft at 7.30 pm yesterday, had told the journalist that though conditions have imporved, yet his squadron had made no progress in the search for signs of the MH 370.



First Published: Saturday, March 22, 2014 - 09:14

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