So much of the world is busy with its business of living that the crisis in the Far East seems to have taken a back seat, what with the high profile Oscar Pistorius Murder Trial and the stalemate of Russia and America. Very few people have taken the time to think about what may have happened to the Malaysian plane that vanished, literally into thin air early on Saturday morning.
On Saturday around one in the morning, Malaysian time, Malaysian Airline Flight number MH 370 departed from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. It was carrying two hundred and twenty-seven passengers and twelve crew members on its way to Beijing, China where it was due to arrive at about six in the morning. After its departure, the flight was monitored as usual from a radar at the airport with everything going as usual until about half past one in the morning when the electronic dot that represented the plane disappeared completely from the screen. That is when the nightmare started for the whole world in general and for the airline and the families of the passengers in particular. That is when every action and decision was questioned in earnest and doubts raised about these actions and decisions.
The first doubt that was raised had to do with the two fake passports that were used to board the plane. These were discovered to be originally from Austria and Italy and the two men that used these are now known to be of Iranian origin. The use of stolen passports quickly pointed to terror as this is a common ruse of terrorists that eventually hijack planes. Further investigation, however, have vindicated the two men as they do not seem to have any links with terror groups. Further investigation has shown that one of them, nineteen year old Mohammad Mehrdad was on his way to Germany where his mother was waiting for him in Frankfurt. He was hoping to settle there. The other, twenty nine year old Delavar Seyed Mohammaderza was also hoping to settle in Europe. They had apparently travelled into Malaysia using legal Iranian passports and only used the fake passports to board this particular flight.
Having exhausted the dimension of terror, the authorities are now focussing on finding debris of a plane that is already assumed to have crashed. A number of sightings have been reported and in all cases, it has come to nought. Some of the false alarms include some debris as well as oil slicks, which, when lab tested, showed that they did not come from a plane.
Meanwhile, as the news of the disappearance of the plane spreads, more and more nations are joining the search with navies, military aircraft, coastguard and civilian vessels from more than ten nations lending a hand. The latest is the Chinese warship that joined in the fray this morning. This comes in the wake of news that the search area has been widened to cover the seas on both sides of Malaysia as well as the thick and dense forests of Vietnam.
However, after all has been said and done, the bottom line is that there is very little that is known about what happened to this plane. A fitting summation is what was said by the head of the Vietnam’s search and rescue effort, Pham Quy Tien who says ” Until now, with all of our efforts, there is very little hope for any good news about this plane”. In addition, Malaysia Airlines has addressed the relatives and informed them to prepare themselves for the worst.