What happened to the missing Malaysia Airlines plane and the search for it?
(CNN Spanish) – That was nine years ago, but it remains one of the biggest mysteries in aviation history: what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that went missing on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.
Youngest passenger I was barely two years old. The eldest, 76. They were a mixed bunch: There were vacationers, frequent travelers and even Buddhist pilgrims. What happened to them?
The missing Malaysia Airlines flight
The plane left the capital of Malaysia on March 8, 2014 at 12:41 am, according to the event reconstruction carried out by the authorities after the reported mysterious disappearance. CNN previously. About half an hour later, one of the aircraft’s communications systems transmitted what later became its last transmission. Nobody discovered anything strange.
Starting at 1:21 a.m., a series of unexpected events that have yet to be fully explained begin to unfold, as the plane is never found: the transponder—a system that sends basic flight information—stops communicating with the plane, it disappears from radar. The Thai military that was tracking it appeared to change course, a civilian radar lost contact with the aircraft and no planned contact was made.
At 3:45 a.m., just over two hours later, Malaysia Airlines issued a “red” alert for the plane’s disappearance from radar, indicating the level of crisis requiring immediate deployment of contingency plans.
But the plane never reached Beijing at 6:30 am, as planned, and could not be detected anywhere else. About an hour later, the authorities announced the disappearance.
Millionaire searches with no results
For a while it was believed that the plane was at the bottom of the southern Indian Ocean, somewhere in the so-called “seventh arc”. However, the searches were unsuccessful.
As of January 2017, Malaysia, China and Australia He completed a two-year search And that its cost is 135 million US dollars.
A year later, Ocean Infinity, an American deep-sea exploration company, launched its own operations in the southern Indian Ocean, but neither happened. Achieved results. By then, Malaysia had offered a payment of up to $70 million if the plane was found.
To date, confirmed remains of the aircraft, and others that presumably belong to it, have been found on the African coast and on islands in the Indian Ocean.
Malaysian investigators have not reached any final conclusion about what happened on board the plane, although they have not ruled out the possibility that it was deliberately diverted from its course, a possibility that an initial assessment also indicated. of US intelligence agencies that became known in 2015.
Information provided by international and Malaysian officials then indicated that the Boeing 777-200ER may have been in the air for hours after the last audio contact with the pilots.
This means that someone may have continued to fly the aircraft, but could not or refused to communicate.
The Malaysian investigation included a search of the homes of the 53-year-old pilot and his 27-year-old co-pilot.
Families request new research
In early March 2023, to mark nine years since the tragic disappearance, a group of relatives of passengers on the flight named Vocie370 said Ocean Infinity hoped to conduct new research and urged the Malaysian government to accept any offer it might make. The company is on a conditional basis, i.e. charging a fee if the aircraft is found.
“Over the past 12 months, Ocean Infinity has made real progress working with many people to better understand (…) the events of 2014,” Voice370 said in a statement. “This greatly improved their chances of conducting successful research,” he added.
In a letter to families read out at the memorial service, Transport Secretary Anthony Locke vowed not to close the case, adding that due consideration would be given to future searches if there was “new and credible information” about the plane’s possible location. .
This year, the mysterious disappearance of a Malasya Airlines plane hit the Netflix Streaming platform, which on March 8 the first show Documentary series “MH370: The Plane That Disappeared”.
With information from Reuters and the CNN team.