Kuala Lumpur : Authorities today said a missing Malaysian plane with 239 people aboard may have changed course before losing contact, as multinational search operations were widened to hundreds of kilometres from the original radius to cover the Andaman Sea.
“The RMAF does not rule out the possibility that the aircraft made turn-back before it disappeared from the radar and this is why the search and rescue operation had been widened to a larger area to include waters off Penang,” Malaysia's Air Force (RMAF) chief General Rodzali Daud said. “This resulted in the search and rescue operations being widened to the vicinity of the waters (off the west coast of Malaysia),” he said.
The Beijing-bound Boeing 777-200 plane had 227 passengers on board, including five Indians and one Indian-origin Canadian, and 12 crew members.
Rodzali denied a report that claimed he had confirmed that the missing Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 had been last detected near Pulau Perak in the Straits of Malacca far from its flight path.
He said the report in the Malay-language daily Berita Harian yesterday was “incorrect”.