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Missing Malaysian jet may have landed and not ended in ocean?

April 22, 2014 19:51 IST

The probe into the mysterious disappearance of the Malaysian jet is now looking at the possibility that the plane may have landed somewhere as no debris has been found so far, a media report has said.

A report in the New Strait Times quoting sources within the international team probing the disappearance said that among the areas it was revisiting was the possibility that the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 had landed elsewhere, instead of ending up in the southern Indian Ocean.

"We may have to regroup soon to look into this possibility if no positive results come back in the next few days ... but at the same time, the search mission in the Indian Ocean must go on," the source was quoted as saying.

"The thought of it landing somewhere else is not impossible, as we have not found a single debris that could be linked to MH370. However, the possibility of a specific country hiding the plane when more than 20 nations are searching for it, seems absurd," the sources said.

Another possibility was that the flight had crashed landed in a remote location, the source said.

Members of the International Investigation Team who have been making efforts since day one to find the plane are now looking at the likelihood of starting from scratch, the report said.

The sources admitted to the daily that it was difficult to determine if the Boeing 777-200 had really ended in the Indian Ocean, though calculations carried out pointed to the direction.

They pointed out that the Malaysian-led investigation team, together with experts from Inmarsat and the United Kingdom's Air Accidents Investigation Branch, had to rely on a communications satellite, which did not provide any definite details, including the plane's direction, altitude and speed.

"A communications satellite is meant for communication...the name is self-explanatory. The reason investigators were forced to adopt a new algorithm to calculate the last known location of MH370 was because there was no global positioning system following the aircraft as the transponder went off 45 minutes into the flight," one of the sources was quoted as saying.

The IIT, the source said, was also looking at adding more assets to be deployed to the existing search area in the Indian Ocean, as well as widening the search area as they feared that the search team had been "looking for the plane in the wrong place".

The Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 -- carrying 239 people, including five Indians, an Indo-Canadian and 154 Chinese nationals -- had mysteriously vanished on March 8 after taking off from Kuala Lumpur.

Photograph: Edgar Su/Reuters

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