Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Goes Missing, Passports, Hijacking, Crash Theories

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In what is being described as one of the biggest mysteries of all time, a Malaysia Airlines international passenger flight disappeared on Saturday.

Facts About Malaysian Flight

In what is being described as one of the biggest mysteries of all time, a Malaysia Airlines international passenger flight disappeared on Saturday.

The jet, with 227 passengers and 12 crew members onboard, was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China, for a scheduled six-hour flight.

As of now, the cause of the disappearance is unknown and under investigation.

However, there are certain facts that have been revealed over the course of three days by news agencies.

Following are excerpts from Reuters news reports that give some of the most important details that have been uncovered so far.

Malaysia Airlines Has One Of Asia's Best Safety Records

Malaysia Airlines has established a record as one of the Asia-Pacific's best full-service carriers in terms of safety and service despite some recent financial problems.

The Kuala Lumpur-based carrier competes with AirAsia domestically, and with the likes of AirAsia X , Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Cathay Pacific on international routes.

Missing Malaysian Jet May Have Disintegrated In Mid-Air

Officials investigating the disappearance suspect the plane may have disintegrated in mid-flight, a senior source said on Sunday, as Vietnam reported a possible sighting of wreckage from the plane.

Nearly 48 hours after the last contact with Flight MH370, mystery surrounded its fate. Malaysia's air force chief said the Beijing-bound airliner may have turned back from its scheduled route before it vanished from radar screens.

"The fact that we are unable to find any debris so far appears to indicate that the aircraft is likely to have disintegrated at around 35,000 feet," a source involved in the investigations in Malaysia told Reuters.

No Distress Call:

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 last had contact with air traffic controllers 120 nautical miles off the east coast of the Malaysian town of Kota Bharu, CEO Yahya said.

Flight tracking website flightaware.com showed it flew northeast over Malaysia after takeoff, climbed to 35,000 feet and was still climbing when it vanished from the site's tracking records a minute later.

John Goglia, a former board member of the National Transportation Safety Board, the U.S. agency that investigates plane crashes, said the lack of a distress call suggested that the plane either experienced an explosive decompression or was destroyed by an explosive device.

"It had to be quick because there was no communication," Goglia said.

Hijacking Not Ruled Out In Missing Malaysian Jet

Questions have mounted over possible security lapses and whether a bomb or attempted hijacking could have brought down the Beijing-bound plane.

Hijacking could not be ruled out, said the head of Malaysia's Civil Aviation Authority, Azharuddin Abdul Rahmanthe, adding the missing jet was an "unprecedented aviation mystery".

Stolen Passports:

According to European officials two people on board were using false identities.

There were no indications of sabotage nor claims of a terrorist attack. But the passenger manifest issued by the airline included the names of two Europeans - Austrian Christian Kozel and Italian Luigi Maraldi - who, according to their foreign ministries, were not in fact on the plane.

A foreign ministry spokesman in Vienna said: "Our embassy got the information that there was an Austrian on board. That was the passenger list from Malaysia Airlines. Our system came back with a note that this is a stolen passport."

Austrian police had found the man safe at home. The passport was stolen two years ago while he was travelling in Thailand, the spokesman said.

A chief investigator confirmed on Monday that the two people who stole the IDs were not of Asian appearance.

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