Search for missing Malaysia Airlines jet: As it happened on Monday

Prime Minister Najib Razak said that British investigators from its Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) have confirmed that the Malaysia Airlines "flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean".

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha and Sushmita Dutta

10: 48 pm: Respect family`s privacy, says plane victim`s Indian colleague

Hours after the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak disclosed that the Malaysia Airlines Jet with 239 people on board, including five Indians, had crashed, the colleague of a victim from India today requested that the privacy of the victim`s family be respected.

The victim, Chandrika Sharma (51), was on her way to Mongolia on March 07 to participate in a Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) organised conference.

She was to represent international NGO `Collective In Support of Fishworkers` where she works as an executive secretary.

"Chandrika Sharma`s husband (Narendran) and her daughter are now in Delhi. They are aware of the Malaysian government`s announcement," N Venugopalan, long time colleague of Chandrika told PTI, adding, the victim`s kin were not interested to talk to the media at present.

8:30 pm: Arrangements will be made to bring families to the recovery area of MH370

In a statement, it said this pending approval from the investigating authorities and until then will continue to support the ongoing investigation.

“It is with deep sadness that Malaysia Airlines earlier this evening had to confirm to the families of those on board Flight MH370 that it must now be assumed the flight had been lost.

“As the Prime Minister said, respect for the families is essential at this difficult time,” it said.

Malaysia Airlines added that it is in that spirit that they informed the majority of the families in advance of the Prime Minister’s statement in person and by telephone.

“SMSs were used only as an additional means of communicating with the families,” it said.

7:30 pm: Missing Malaysian plane MH370 has crashed, says PM

The Malaysia Airlines flight that went missing March 8, with 239 people on board ended in the southern Indian Ocean and there is no hope of any survivors, Malaysian authorities announced today.

Addressing a press conference here Monday, Prime Minister Najib Razak said that British investigators from its Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) have confirmed that the Malaysia Airlines "flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean".

"They (AAIB representatives) informed me that Inmarsat, the UK company that provided the satellite data which indicated the northern and southern corridors, has been performing further calculations on the data. Using a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort, they have been able to shed more light on MH370’s flight path," Razak said.

"Based on their new analysis, Inmarsat and the AAIB have concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth," he added.

7:00 pm: Malaysia Airlines hints of no survivors left on Flight MH370

Malaysia Airlines issued a press release in which it has paid homage to the 239 people who were on board Flight MH370 as the flight is being presumed has crash in the Indian Ocean.

“On behalf of all of us at Malaysia Airlines and all Malaysians, our prayers go out to all the loved ones of the 226 passengers and of our 13 friends and colleagues at this enormously painful time,” the Malaysia Airlines said in the press release.

04:10 pm: More than hundred people interviewed so far, says Malaysian minister

Malaysia`s acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has said that more than a hundred people have been interviewed by the Police in a bid to get clues regarding the Malaysian jet mystery.

Those interviewed include the families of pilot and co-pilot. Earlier, the FBI experts had suggested that pilot`s estranged wife Faizah Khan must be interviewed to get clues about the mental state of the man piloting the ill-fated plane.

03:45 pm: Objects could be received within next few hours?

Kindling hope in the hunt for the missing jet, Malaysian minister Hishammuddin Hussein has said that the objects sighted by the RAAF Orion could be retrieved in "next few hours or by tomorrow morning".

"HMAS Success is in the vicinity and it is possible that the objects could be received within the next few hours, or by tomorrow morning at the latest. Three search areas, totalling approximately 20,000 square nautical miles, have been identified for operations today," he said in a statement.

03:20 pm: Australian Air Force`s P3 Orion locates objects

In a first, a Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orion has managed to locate two objects in southern Indian objects, says the latest statement issued by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

One of them is a grey or green circular object and
the second an orange rectangular object.

"HMAS Success is on scene and is attempting to locate the objects in the search for missing Malaysia Aircraft flight MH370," said the AMSA statement.

"The objects were spotted in the search area about 2500 kilometres south-west of Perth by the RAAF
Orion about 2.45pm (AEDT."

AMSA further clarified that these objects located by RAAF Orion are separate to the objects reported by the Chinese Ilyushin IL-76.

02:30 pm: `Always searching, always searching, but no clues?`

Frustrated with the lack of any solid lead in the search of the missing Malaysian Airlines plane, the falilies of the passengers aboard the ill-fated plane are finding the wait too agonising.

One such aggrieved and angry Chinese familiy member told Reuters, "It`s already been so many days. And no clues. They`re always searching, always searching. Can such a big plane not be found?"

02:30 pm: `Co-pilot was new to Boeing 777 but had strict training`

In what may further put the role of men in cockpit in spotlight, it has emerged that co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was new to Boeing 777, with it being his sixth flight on board the Boeing plane.

However, Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya has said that the co-pilot`s training had been very strict, reported teh Strait Times.

Mr Yahay added that Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah was a Boeing 777 examiner.
01:40 pm: US Navy`s P8 Poseidon tasked to locate objects spotted by China

US Navy P8 Poseidon has been entitled to look for the "suspicious white objects" spotted by Chinese plane, reports CCTV news.

01:20 pm: Another Malaysian Airlines flight got hit by a flock of doves

Adding to the troubles of Malaysia Airlines, reports surfaced today saying that another Malaysia Airlines flight(MH114)had on Friday been hit by a flock of doves, while the plane was landing at Nepal`s Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).

A flock of ducks struck the aircraft’s windshield as it touched down on the runway at 10.45pm, leaving the southern tip of runway 02 strewn with broken glass, airport authorities said as per a report in the Star online.

The report added that the incident was not reported immediately to the Air Traffic Controllers by the cockpit crew.

"The incident came to light after a pilot of Jet Airways, which landed minutes after Malaysia Airlines, informed us of sighting pieces of glass on the runway," the report quoted an ATC on condition of anonymity.

11:30 am: Chinese icebreaker Xuelong heading towards search area

Chinese icebreaker Xuelong is heading towards that area in the in the southern Indian Ocean where "suspicious square white objects have been spotted by Chinese plane.

11:00 am: Now, another Malaysian Airlines plane makes emergency landing

Even as the Malaysia Airlines is grappling with the mystery ovr what might have happened with Flight MH370, another MA Flight MH066, which was Seoul-bound, had to be diverted to Hong Kong, due to electrical glitches.

"Flight MH066 from Kuala Lumpur to Incheon on 23 March 2014 was diverted to Hong Kong due to an inoperative aircraft generator which supplies normal electrical power. However electrical power continued to be supplied by the Auxiliary Power Unit. The aircraft was then diverted to Hong Kong for rectification and landed uneventfully," said Malaysian Airlines in a statement.

10:40 am: US Navy`s Black Box locator reaching search area

After few possible debris sightings reported by countries like France, China and Australia, the US Navy has decided to send its Black Box locator - Towed Pinger Locator 25 - to the search area in southern Indian Ocean. However, it doesnot mean that a debris field has been found in the area, said officials.

"Please note that movement of the Towed Pinger Locator into the region is not an indication that we have confirmed a debris field," the AFP quoted US Navy`s 7th Fleet`s Commander William Marks.

"If a debris field is confirmed, The Navy`s Towed Pinger Locator 25 will add a significant advantage in locating the missing Malaysian aircraft`s black box," he added.

10:10 am: Cell phones of passengers aboard flight MH370 not connecting anymore

A report that had sent many into tizzy was that scores of relatives of Chinese passengers were able to connect successfully to the cell phones of their kins on board the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines plane. But now, when various passengers` phone numbers were tried, none could be connected, said Malaysia Embassy to China as per CCTV News.

The phones were connecting till a couple of days after the plane`s disappearance.

9:50 am: Chinese plane finds "suspicious white objects" in Indian Ocean

Chinese military`s IL-76 plane on Monday is said to have spotted "suspicious white objects" in the Southern Indian Ocean while searching for the missing jet, reported the Xinhua.

"The crew has reported the co-ordinates - 95.1113 degrees east and 42.5453 south - to the Australian command centre as well as Chinese icebreaker Xuelong, which is en route to the sea area," Xinhua said.
9:20 am: `Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 flew at low altitude after sharp turn`

After making a sharp turn towards the Strait of Malacca, the ill-fated plane flew at an altitude as low as 12000 feet, to avoid heavy traffic of the air corridor in that area, a report in the CNN has quoted an anonymous source as saying.

The source, an investigating official unauthorised to speak to the media, told the CNN that the plane flew at 12,000 feet at some point before it disappeared from radar.

The report adds that the sharp turn was intentional as the Boeing 777 would have taken two minutes in turning the plane because had any untoward incident taken place, the pilot could have sent an emergency signal. But one can`t rule out that the pilot might have tried but failed to inform.

9:00 am: French sighting 850 kilometres north of current search area

Speaking about the fresh clues in the form of French sightings, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said the latest potential debris was about 850 kilometres north of the current search area.

"The area where debris has been picked up by satellites is of particular interest, and they`re the focus of a lot of the searching... The French sighting is I guess a piece of new material because that is in a completely different location. That is about 850 kilometres north of our current search area,” ABC News quoted Mr Truss.

8:30 am: Search resumes, 10 aircraft hunting for the missing jet today

As the plane search is in its third week, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has roped in 10 aircraft today to search for possible objects in the search area about 2500 kilometres south-west of Perth.

AMSA`s civil aircraft and military aircraft from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, China and Japan are also engaged in the hunt, said the maritime safety agency in a statement.

Two Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft from China and two P3 Orion aircraft from Japan are adding to the search mission.