It is exactly a week from the day when the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777-200, flight number MH 370 disappeared as it entered the South China Sea. It was carrying two hundred and twenty seven passengers from more than a dozen nationalities, the majority of whom are Chinese as well as twelve crew members and was heading for Beijing in China. The week that has gone past has been characterized by a host of conflicting information and misinformation. Many theories have been taken up and discarded only to be picked up again.
After assuring the public that there was no foul play in the disappearance of the flight, there are now strong indications that someone with sinister intentions took control of the plane when it last communicated with the civilian radar at Kuala Lumpur Airport. However, the military radar was able to track an unidentified aircraft which is believed to be the errant flight on a route which was tantamount to turning back towards Kuala Lumpur Airport. The contention of the Malaysian authorities is that the plane was taken over by someone who knew their way around the plane and the area there. This is because, from the point where it last communicated with their radar, the plane was deliberately flown over the Malay Penninsula following a route between navigational way points. Way points are geographical locations worked out by calculating longitude and latitude. They are mainly used to help pilots to navigate established corridors.
This development has prompted the Malaysian authorities to resuscitate the theory of foul play with a view to taking that of hijack into serious consideration. This is based mainly on the fact that since it was visible on the military radar and not on the civilian one, this means that the communications equipment had been switched off. After it had switched off communication, which was at about 01:20am Malaysian time; about 19:00pm on Friday by South African time, the plane is alleged to have been at 35 000 feet and was about 144km off the east coast of Malaysia heading towards Vietnam near Igari, a navigational way point. From here, it turned westwards towards way point Vampi north east of Indonesia and then headed towards Gival south the Thai island of Phuket. At approximately 02:15am, Malaysian time, this unidentified plane was last plotted heading northwest towards way point Igrex, which route would take it over the Indian Andaman Islands.
According to unnamed sources, the Malaysian authorities have requested assistance from the Indian naval bases in the Islands as well as from Indonesia and Thailand. India is reported to have acceded to this request and have joined the frantic search in Mandaman Nicobar Islands which comprises about five hundred mostly uninhabited islands. To this end, the Indian Navy has deployed two planes to fly across the islands, an area covering over seven hundred by over fifty kilometres. In addition, Indian ships have joined more than a dozen nations in the frantic search of the mystery plane.