The Plane That Vanished

I suppose by now almost everyone who reads the news or watches it on tv or reads it on the internet knows about the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the Malaysian airline, Flight 370. The Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines 777-200 suddenly vanished from radar screens last weekend, forty minutes after leaving Kuala Lumpur. 40 ships from nine countries as well as two dozen aircraft scoured an area within a 50 nautical mile radius of Flight 370’s last known position. The plane was at cruising altitude (35,000 feet) and weather was more or less clear. Air traffic controllers in Vietnam say contact with the crew disappeared about 120 nautical miles east of the Malaysian town of Kota Bharu, and radar signals suggest the plane may have turned around before losing contact.

In the absence of any evidence, the possible explanations for what happened to the missing Malaysia plane range all over the map: an explosion, a catastrophic engine failure, extreme turbulence, or pilot error, or even pilot suicide. Although no terrorist groups had come forward to claim credit, sabotage had not been ruled out, especially after it emerged that several passengers were traveling on stolen passports and that five passengers who had checked baggage had failed to board the plane (their luggage was removed from the flight, the airline said.) And an oil slick spotted in the South China sea originally thought to be a clue turned out to be a false lead.

But as loved ones of those on board Flight 370 struggle with shock and grief, some say their agony is being compounded by a lack of information from Malaysia Airlines. They have given one critical indication that after 30 hours of no contact the families & relatives have to told to expect the worst. The not knowing and waiting for information must be terrible for the family members.

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