Maldives police probe reported sighting of 'low flying jet'

Mar 18, 2014 - 09:44 3 comments
  • A Malaysia Airlines employee writes a message expressing prayers and well-wishes for passengers onboard missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang on March 14, 2014. PHOTO/ AFP

Maldives police on Tuesday announced an investigation into reports that residents of the remote Maldives island of Kuda Huvadhoo in Dhaal Atoll have seen a "low flying jumbo jet" on the morning of the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

But the police did not reveal any details.   

Whilst the disappearance of the Boeing 777 jet, carrying 239 passengers has left the whole world in bewilderment, several residents of Kuda Huvadhoo told Haveeru on Tuesday that they saw a "low flying jumbo jet" at around 6:15am on March 8.

They said that it was a white aircraft, with red stripes across it – which is what the Malaysia Airlines flights typically look like.

Eyewitnesses from the Kuda Huvadhoo concurred that the aeroplane was travelling North to South-East, towards the Southern tip of the Maldives – Addu. They also noted the incredibly loud noise that the flight made when it flew over the island.

A local aviation expert told Haveeru that it is "likely" for MH370 to have flown over the Maldives. The possibility of any aircraft flying over the island at the reported time is extremely low, the expert added.

The Malaysia airlines jet disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing. Investigators say it was deliberately diverted off course.

Twenty-six countries are now helping to hunt for the plane after satellite and military radar data projected two huge corridors through which it might have flown.

Satellite data suggests that the last "ping" was received from the flight somewhere close to the Maldives and the US naval base on Diego Garcia.

But the Maldives is not amongst the countries that Malaysian authorities had sought help from in its search for the missing jet. Malaysia has listed the countries that it had appealed for assistance: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, China, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia and France.

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