MALAYSIAN FLIGHT 370 POSSIBLY HIJACKED
Reports hints at ‘third party’
PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia — A Malaysian-led independent investigation report released Monday, more than four years after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared, highlighted shortcomings in the government’s response and raised the possibility of “intervention by a third party.”
The report, prepared by a 19-member international team, reiterated Malaysia’s assertion the plane was deliberately diverted and flown for over seven hours after severing communications.
Chief investigator Kok Soo Chon said the cause of the disappearance cannot be determined until the wreckage and the plane’s black boxes are found. He said there was no evidence of abnormal behaviour or stress in the two pilots that could lead them to hijack the plane but all passengers were also cleared by police and had no pilot training.
“We cannot rule out unlawful interference by a third party,” such as someone holding the pilots hostage, he said. But he added that no group has said it hijacked the plane and no ransom demands have been made, compounding the mystery.
He said the investigation showed lapses by air traffic control, including a failure to swiftly initiate an emergency response and monitor radar continuously.
The plane carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing vanished March 8, 2014, and is presumed to have crashed in the far southern Indian Ocean.
An aircraft searches for Flight MH370 in 2014. Inset, Sarah Nor, centre, mother of Flight MH370 passenger Norliakmar Hamid, cries after listening to Monday’s investigation report.