The strange and inexplicable disappearance of a Malaysian Airlines flight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur is an ongoing mystery that authorities from across the world are trying to solve.
Early Saturday morning (19:20 GMT) flight MH370 departed from Kuala Lumpur scheduled to land in Beijing after approximately 6 hours of travel time. There were a total of 239 people on board, 12 of whom were part of the crew. Initially, there was no cause to think the flight would not land as scheduled however, less than two hours into the flight, the aircraft was no longer on any radar and vanished without a trace
It is suspicious enough that the flight had just disappeared, but there was no distress signal sent from the plane and the weather at the time was not a cause for concern.
Soon after the air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane, flight tracking software indicated that the plane was still in the process of making its ascent when it fell off the grid.
Vietnamese authorities have stated that flight MH370 had vanished approximately 60 seconds before entering their airspace.
Search parties were immediately dispatched and a vigorous expedition was undertaken by Vietnam, the Philippines, the United Sates, and Malaysia.
Upon scouring the seas, a Vietnamese aircraft spotted an oil slick in the approximate location that the plane had went missing. However, it turned out that it was unrelated as there was no evidence of airplane fuel upon testing the oil.
There have been no leads as to what may have caused the plane to vanish so abruptly but authorities in Malaysia are not ruling out any possibilities. Speculation is brewing up a number of different theories that involve a possible botched terrorist attack, pilot suicide, or technical failure causing the plane to completely disintegrate.
The search is still currently in progress.
The passengers on board the flight were from a range of nationalities but the majority were Chinese nationals.
Nationalities on board:
- 153 Chinese Nationals
- 38 Malaysian
- 12 Indonesian
- 6 Australian
- 5 Indian
- 3 American
- 3 French
- 2 Canadian
- 2 New Zealand
- 2 Ukrainian
- 1 Dutch
- 1 Italian
- 1 Russian
- 1 Taiwanese
- 1 Austrian
In addition, there were two infants on board the flight.
It was later revealed that the Italian national and the Austrian national were not on the flight, but as it turns out, their passports were stolen.
Shortly after, Interpol released a statement saying, “Interpol is currently in contact with its National Central Bureaus in the involved countries to determine the true identities of the passengers who used these stolen passports to board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.”
The identity of one of the passport thieves was uncovered by the authorities that one of the stolen passports was being used by a 19-year-old Iranian man who was travelling to Germany to seek political asylum.
The Malaysian authorities do not believe he is linked to any terrorist organization, saying that it was “highly unlikely”.