Posts Tagged ‘Missing aircraft’

“Asians” were travelling on two of the stolen European passports on MH370

March 10, 2014

The Malaysian Home Minister is embarrassed.

But in good politician style he will find others to pass the buck on to. In this case he is passing responsibility on to his immigration staff. He “slammed Immigration officials for not conducting proper passport checks, and identified the two passengers who were travelling on stolen passports as “Asians”. He clearly believes in racial profiling and probably has not heard about how many Europeans today are of “Asian” origin.  A special investigation – or will it be a witch-hunt? – is under-way. There is little doubt that a scapegoat within the immigration department will be found. And I would venture to predict that the staff found to be blamed will be of Chinese or Indian ethnicity.

Malaysian Insider: The Home Minister slammed Immigration officials for not conducting proper passport checks, and identified the two passengers who were travelling on stolen passports as “Asians”. Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid  Hamidi  hit out at the Immigration officers allowing two “Asian” men with European identities to board the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370. 

“I am puzzled how come (immigration officers) cannot think, Italian and Austrian (passengers) but with Asian facial features,” he was quoted saying by national news agency Bernama, adding that an internal investigation of the Immigration Department has commenced.  

“The investigation would give special attention to the department’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) branch. “We will conduct an internal probe, particularly of the officers who were on duty at the KLIA Immigration counter during flight MH370.”
Ahmad Zahid said the investigation was being conducted by a special team led by Immigration Department director-general Datuk Aloyah Mamat.

It is now thought that “only” two passengers were using false passports and not four. Small comfort!

Mystery surrounding Malaysian MH370 deepens with four passengers travelling on stolen European passports

March 9, 2014

I find aircraft accidents particularly disturbing – not just because I travel quite often – but mainly because of the suddenness and the helplessness of the many on board. Whatever the explanation 239 people have lost their lives.

I thought that suicide bombers generally operated singly. So while the news that at least four MH370 passengers were travelling on stolen European identities brings foul play up the list of possibilities, it seems unlikely that four suicide bombers would act in concert. In any event the lack of any contact before the disappearance  suggests a sudden, catastrophic airframe failure or a massive – perhaps malicious – explosion. Oil slicks suggest the South China Sea but there is no trace of wreckage. Military radar indicates that the aircraft may have started to turn back

The mystery however is deepening.

  • The lack of contact suggests something very sudden
  • A bomb should have provided a lot of floating wreckage.
  • Four “bad guys” acting in concert would be more suggestive of an attempted  hijacking
  • A turn-back should have allowed time for contact.
  • Aircraft breakup in the air should also have provided a lot of wreckage.

It may not be completely irrelevant that in August 2012 this particular aircraft was involved in a collision with the tail of a China Eastern Airline A340 plane at Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China and suffered a damaged wing.

MH370 collision 2012 photo AP

MH370 collision 2012 photo AP

One theory is that an airframe failure could have caused the aircraft to suddenly fracture into two large pieces – both of which were large enough to plunge into the sea and sink without leaving much surface wreckage?

The Guardian: …… two Europeans listed on the passenger manifest – an Italian, Luigi Maraldi and an Austrian, Christian Kozel – had not been on the flight and were safe and well. Maraldi had his passport stolen in Thailand last year and Kozel’s was stolen in the region two years ago. The flight was a codeshare with China Southern and the two people named as Maraldi and Kozel on the list booked together via the Chinese airline, Chinese media reported.

The company said it had CCTV footage of the two people who checked in as Maraldi and Kozel.

Malaysian InsiderAuthorities have yet to confirm the identities of two more European passengers on flight MH370, adding to two others using stolen passports in the Malaysia Airlines plane which vanished over the Malaysia-Vietnam maritime border yesterday. The Malaysian Insider understands that all four had bought their flight tickets from China Southern Airlines, the Malaysia Airlines codeshare partner for the Kuala Lumpur-Beijing route.

“The background checks with the embassies are being done but these two cannot be confirmed,” a source told The Malaysian Insider, adding that both were from the same country.


MH370-Malaysia_Airlines-mas-last-location-graphics-080314-kamarul husain Malaysian Insider

Malaysian InsiderMalaysia Airlines said that the plane took off at 12.41am Malaysian time and that it disappeared from air traffic control radar in Subang at 2.40am.

The timeline seemed to suggest that the plane stayed in the air for two hours – long enough to fly not only across the Gulf of Thailand but also far north across Vietnam.

But Fredrik Lindahl, the chief executive of Flightradar24, an online aircraft tracking service, had said that the last radar contact had been at 1.19am, less than 40 minutes after the flight began.
The authorities said yesterday that the last conversation between the flight crew and air traffic control in Malaysia had been about 1.30am. – March 9, 2014.

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