Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Not Tied to Oil in Water

Monday, 10 Mar 2014 03:01 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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The mystery about what happened to Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 deepened Monday when tests revealed that an oil slick found in Malaysian waters Sunday was not from the airplane.

The test dashed hopes that questions could begin to be answered about what happened to the aircraft that has been missing since early Saturday morning when the airplane simply disappeared from radar.

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"The chemical department has confirmed this evening the oil found in Malaysian waters yesterday is bunker oil, and is not used by any aircraft," Faidah Shuib, spokeswoman for the Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency, told Reuters.

Authorities disproved another false sighting when a yellow object spotted by Vietnamese jet crew that was initially believed to be a life raft turned out to be moss-covered rubbish, Reuters noted.

The Malaysian flight left Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 12:41 a.m. Saturday in good weather, and was expected to reach Beijing at 6:30 a.m. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane about 1:30 a.m. but pilots had not warned of any problems or issued a distress call beforehand.

An investigation source told Reuters that it appears that the flight may have disintegrated at about 35,000 feet since no debris has been found beneath the airplane's flight plan.

The source said searchers would have been able to find concentrated patterns of debris by now if the plane broke up when it hit the water.

There are questions surrounding fake passports used to get on the plane as well as the airplane's manifest. An Austrian citizen listed as on board the flight was found at home in the country, Austrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Weiss told CNN.

Also, Luigi Maraldi of Italy was vacationing in Thailand, but he was listed on the plane's manifest, CNN reported. His parents told Italian authorities they had recently talked to their son and confirmed he was still in Thailand. Maraldi reported his passport stolen in Malaysia in August and had to get another one.

The USS Pinckney, which was involved in training exercises in the South China Sea, has been routed to the southern Vietnamese coast to assist in the search.

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