Missing 777 Malaysia Airliner Leaves Experts Clueless After 4 Days

Image: Missing 777 Malaysia Airliner Leaves Experts Clueless After 4 Days A map of a flight plan is seen on a computer screen during a meeting before a mission to find the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Tuesday, 11 Mar 2014 11:10 AM

By Michael Mullins

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A missing Boeing 777 is still unaccounted for a full four days since the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared somewhere between Malaysia and Vietnam after leaving Kuala Lumpur early Saturday morning for Beijing.

No distress signal was sent from the missing 777, which experts say suggests a sudden catastrophic failure or explosion. Malaysia's air force chief told reporters that radar tracking of the missing 777 showed that it might have turned back from its scheduled route before it disappeared.

As a result, Malaysia Airlines officials said they were refocusing their search back toward the Strait of Malacca early Tuesday local time. The strait is a relatively narrow stretch of sea west of the Malaysia peninsula, NBC News reported.

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"All angles are being looked at. We are not ruling out any possibilities," the airline said in a statement.

Aside from Malaysia, various other nations have joined the search effort including the United States, Vietnam, Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, China, and Thailand, which together have deployed a total of 34 aircraft and 40 ships to the area as of Sunday.

The missing Boeing 777 airliner had 239 people aboard when it mysteriously disappeared Saturday, 227 of whom were passengers, 12 were crew.

Of the 227 passengers, three were Americans, with two reportedly being children. Among the other nationalities in the flight when it went missing were 38 Malaysians, seven Indonesians, six Australians, five Indians, and four French. The remainder of the passengers on the flight were reportedly Chinese nationals.

As part of the search, the United States has been extensively reviewing imagery taken by American spy satellites for evidence of a mid-air explosion, but saw none, a U.S. government source told Reuters.

"The fact that we are unable to find any debris so far appears to indicate that the aircraft is likely to have disintegrated at around 35,000 feet," senior source involved in preliminary investigation in Malaysia told Reuters.

When asked about the possibility of an explosion, such as a bomb, Malaysian authorities said nothing could be ruled out at this time.

At least two passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight used stolen passports to board, officials announced Monday.

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The Associated Press reported that the stolen passports belong to Christian Kozel of Austria and Luigi Maraldi of Italy.

Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, Malaysia's Inspector General of Police, told reporters Sunday that one of the two suspects has been identified, but wouldn't elaborate.

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