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Malaysia launches terrorism probe over vanished jet

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Sadly this isn't looking good. An aircraft like the 777-200 doesn't just disappear without some sort of warning to air traffic control unless the cockpit is disabled instantly. Hoping for the best but sadly fearing the worst.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Seems like not a very efficient search and rescue operation. "oil slicks spotted" would focus a few minutes in that area to search for debris.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"We have been waiting for hours and there is still no verification," he said.

My condolences to those in this awful limbo. We expect answers in the click of a mouse or the tap of a screen now-a-days. Unfortunately for the poor relatives, as the article points out, they may have to wait a long time for such answers. Waiting without answers concerning loved ones is difficult to bear; however, there is no other option except where to place oneself on the continuum between rage and grace.

@ Mark G:

After the oil was spotted, the air search was suspended for the night.

Seems efficient enough. Not going to find debris in the dark, and maybe not for some time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Allegedly speaking, we will find out more in days to come, and it seems there is a broader ca-notation to deal with.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The individuals with the stolen passports might have checked in baggage but not actually boarded the flight. In many countries there is a verification process to cross-check passengers and their checked baggage. (I remember at Moscow airport in the 1980s we had to stand on the tarmac in front of our Aeroflot plane and actually point to our own bags before they were loaded.) Anyway, if Kuala Lumpur airport was deficient in some aspect of security that could have been exploited by terrorists. I suppose we'll know soon enough one way or the other.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

philly1....a full day of daylight to search fairly targeted area.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Wouldn't be be hearing about a terrorist organization taking credit for it by now?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Don't know if it is related but most passengers are said to be Chinese pointing to the possibility that it was a terrorist act of the Uyghur separatist act.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Galapagos/SamuraiBlue: "Anyway, if Kuala Lumpur airport was deficient in some aspect of security that could have been exploited by terrorists."

While I think you guys are jumping to conclusions, I will admit it's odd that the plane 'suddenly' disappeared without any mayday signals or what have you. An explosion could cause that, but then... if that were the case what caused the explosion is a mystery. Could also have been a bizarre power outage. Who knows? All I know is that it does not sound like the plane or the people survived, and I feel very sorry about it.

-2 ( +0 / -4 )

Galapagos

That would be too easy. I'm pretty sure all major airlines (including Malaysian of course) will page passengers who have checked in bags but haven't boarded. If those who haven't boarded don't respond the airline will unload all the bags from the airplane.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A truly awful disaster. My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones . . . I've just been looking at a nautical chart of the area of the accident and the sea is surprisingly shallow (around 50m average depth or so). This will mean it will be comparatively easy to recover wreckage and most importantly find out what caused this terrible event.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Malaysian Defense Minister just said 4 people are now under suspicion and that the FBI has been called in, making the terror possibility a stronger one.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

That would be too easy. I'm pretty sure all major airlines (including Malaysian of course) will page passengers who have checked in bags but haven't boarded. If those who haven't boarded don't respond the airline will unload all the bags from the airplane.

You're right, I've been on a plane where they had to dig through and find a person's luggage because they didn't get on the plane even though they've checked their luggage.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The plot thickens!

What actually surprises me is how a jumbo jet can suddenly disappear in the high tech world of today! You can track anyone's position via satellites with precision of 1 meter but passenger airplanes are obviously not worth to be tracked?!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Remember the wreckage of the Air France flight that disappeared over the Atlantic en route from Rio to Paris in 2009 was not located until nearly two years later, in 2011. The South China Sea being much smaller and shallower than the Atlantic, I hope families will not need to wait that long to find out what happened to their loved ones. I'm guessing terrorism, especially with the two stolen passports involved. Very sad all around.

1 ( +1 / -1 )

This really exposes how weak the search and rescue systems in Malaysia and Vietnam. Its been 2 days and still nothing. Logistically, it will take US and China at least 1 day to get to the region. But for the locals in Malaysia and Vietnam, they should be all over it within hours. Those hours are critical if the plane has some sort of survivors, if any. Now, possibility of survivors are slim and none.

That is, if its not an act of terrorism but a mechanical malfunction. Unless the perps were able to get to the cockpit, the only logical explanation is bombing which should be visible in the area as there are lots of fishing and cargo routes in the region.

And from what we know, the plane's pilots are in constant communication with air controls. And they were only momentarily lost and then stopped communication. Which means whatever the cause was, it was rapid and sudden.

And with ID and passport conundrum, coupled with the mass attack in a major rail station in China, and now this flight is/was heading to China... I fear the worst is yet to come.

-4 ( +1 / -4 )

A BBC report stated it is practically impossible for a 777-222 to malfunction - there are multiple fail-safes over fail-safes. Looking very suspicious.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Malaysia is a muslim country, so an extremely unlikely country for a terror attack. I would rather expect a critical technical malfunction. It has happend before. But at this point we are all speculating.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

While I detest the PRC's government, I'd like to point out to everyone that in an event like this, it is not the time for politics.

My condolences to all those that (most likely now) have lost loved ones or friends.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An unusual factor is the absence of floating debris. A plane the size of a 777 does not go down without leaving a long trail of seats, suitcases, footwear, etc.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Malaysia is a muslim country, so an extremely unlikely country for a terror attack. I would rather expect a critical technical malfunction. It has happend before. But at this point we are all speculating.

What are you talking about? Muslims are the largest group of victims of Muslim extremists, and more terrorist attacks happen in Muslim countries than in the countries of any other organized religion.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Terrible for all involved, a lot of us travel often too and this really brings it all home to some of us. I hope they get to the bottom of it all very soon.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What actually surprises me is how a jumbo jet can suddenly disappear in the high tech world of today! You can track anyone's position via satellites with precision of 1 meter but passenger airplanes are obviously not worth to be tracked?!

Either that, or you've completely misunderstood the technology.

Which one seems more likely?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

What actually surprises me is how a jumbo jet can suddenly disappear in the high tech world of today! You can track anyone's position via satellites with precision of 1 meter but passenger airplanes are obviously not worth to be tracked?!

As Wipeout has said, you've misunderstood the technology. GPS is passive technology - the units that show a position receive sattelite (or cellphone) signals. They do not broadcast. So the GPS unit knows exactly where it is, but no one else knows where the GPS unit is, unless it is broadcasting, and they are in the range of it's broadcast. And the range of units will not be the same as a satellite, which aside from being powerful, has no barriers between it and the units that receive the satellite signals.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

What a tragedy. Unless the plane managed to land somewhere, which doesn't seem likely at this point, then quite probably all on board perished whether by aircraft failure or other cause. Condolences to the families and friends who lost loved ones.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Strangerlad:

" What are you talking about? Muslims are the largest group of victims of Muslim extremists, and more terrorist attacks happen in Muslim countries than in the countries of any other organized religion. "

That statement is like the old joke about helpdesk software support... the information is technically correct, but completely useless. Yes "muslms" are the largest target group if muslim extremists, but that is always in the context of sectarian strife inside a country. E.g. Sunni vs the Assad Allavites in Syria, Sunnis vs Shia in Iraq and in Saudi, and so.

Malaysia is solidly Sunni and does not have that problem. Bombing the airlines of other countries on behalf of Sunni/Shia rivalry is unheard of. If you know of a case, name it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That statement is like the old joke about helpdesk software support... the information is technically correct, but completely useless. Yes "muslms" are the largest target group if muslim extremists, but that is always in the context of sectarian strife inside a country. E.g. Sunni vs the Assad Allavites in Syria, Sunnis vs Shia in Iraq and in Saudi, and so.

Yeah, but that's not what you said the first time around is it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

First of all a big plane just doesnt fall out of the sky these days. Planes are tracked from take off until landing with that said regardless of all the failsafe designs a plane has or redundant systems the plane can and will have failures depending on the magnitude of the failure and the system that failed depends on the ability of the pilots to gain control. I could go on about this but it would get to technical I do this everyday I am a electrical/software engineering specialist for the name sake company that built the plane. Let me say this if it was in fact a terroist act and there was an exposion the debris field would be large if the explosion occurred at high altitudes if it was a take over and the plane was taken over and did a quick dive there would be a small debris field in this case neithet have been reported or the information is bing held and not reported

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If the plane did suffer a severe catastrophic damage for example an explosion at the maximum crushing altitude and most of the plane hitting the water, the plane would be be obliberated. True, there would be tiny pieces, but nothing is floating around or maybe these pieces were dragged down and they still need to come up? @kaimcahl, I don't know why you got a thumbs down, but what you said makes a lot of sense.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Strangerland my point was exactly that if there is no (active) satellite tracking of commercial airplanes, then that is clearly a missing safety measure. I'm not talking about GPS just because I wrote 'tracking'.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@wipeout

"Either that, or you've completely misunderstood the technology.Which one seems more likely?"

It seems you're the one in the dark. An FAA official was the BBC this morning raising the exact same questions as the poster, to which your smarmy response was directed.

A 777, he said, is its own automated communications eco-system, constantly sending a stream of detailed data while in flight to a number of diverse ground stations. The official said the instant shutdown of this elaborate system and total disappearance of an aircraft in these circumstances is utterly mind-boggling.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The official said the instant shutdown of this elaborate system and total disappearance of an aircraft in these circumstances is utterly mind-boggling.

I've seen several similarly hyperbolic statements. First, it's foolish after an explosion/crash to imply nothing can have gone wrong with the aircraft because they're built so well and the systems wouldn't have allowed it. They'll have to wait until they find the wreckage and see where the evidence points.

Secondly, it's not mind-boggling to entertain the idea - as this aircraft has disappeared - that it could have suddenly exploded, or disintegrated, or was hit. There are precedents for that, and also for pilot suicide.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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