China Starts Land Search for Malaysia Plane

World | March 18, 2014, Tuesday // 10:51
Bulgaria: China Starts Land Search for Malaysia Plane A handout picture released by the Malaysian prime minister`s office on 18 March 2014 shows a map of the northern search corridor for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, Photo by EPA/BGNES

China has started searching its territory for the missing Malaysian plane which mysteriously disappeared on March 8.

Two vast air corridors north and south of the plane's last known location will be on focus during the operation, the BBC has reported.

One stretches from China's borders with Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand and the other from Indonesia to the Indian Ocean.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, with 239 people on board, took off from Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur, but mysteriously vanished from radar early on Saturday, somewhere between Malaysia and Vietnam, while en route to Beijing. According to investigarots, it was diverted thousands of miles off course by someone with deep knowledge of the Boeing 777-200ER commercial navigation.

Neither Malaysian nor Chinese authorities have so far reported evidence of "terror links" on board.

Investigators, however, have not ruled out the possibility that the aircraft's crew or even some of its passengers could have some part in the mysterious disappearance.

Al Jazeera has meanwhile reported that in Malaysia, suicide by the captain or first officer is also considered a possible explanation.

According to Malaysian officials, communications systems were deliberately disabled after tbe last words from the plane, which were all right, good night".

It was later revealed that the message was spoken after the plane's tracking system was shut down, and this arose suspicions of hijacking or sabotage.

Twenty-six countries are already involved in search efforts, which nonetheless remain fruitless.

Operations are extended to a huge territory, with Australian vessels searching a 600 000 square kilometer area in the southern Indian Ocean.

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Tags: Malaysia, missing plane, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, China

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