Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370's whereabouts remains unaccounted for, three days after it disappeared from radar view whilst flying to Beijing, China.
The aircraft's location is still unknown and, so too, the fates of the 239 passengers and crew members on board. According to Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation's director-general, amongst the range of theories put forward, it's not inconceivable to think that the Malaysian Airlines aircraft had been hijacked.
Those related to the missing passengers and crew members have been told to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Those onboard included 150 Chinese passengers and, in recent hours, China has called on Malaysia to increase its search campaign. "The Malaysian side attaches importance to the incident with a sincere attitude, but in light of the situation, the Malaysian side needs to step up their efforts", one representative of China's foreign ministry told news reporters.
Malaysia Airlines Search
Currently, the Malaysia Airlines aircraft search involves nine countries. Between them, they've supplied 34 aircraft and 40 ships. The search efforts have turned up various objects in the water but at least one has proved to be unrelated.
However, more promisingly, authorities in Vietnam claim to have identified possible aircraft parts, close to a suspected oil slick zone picked out by Vietnamese aircraft on 8 March. Samples of this oil are now being examined, to see if they tie-up with the lost aircraft.
Lost Malaysian Flight
Flight 370 - a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER - took off in Kuala Lumpur carrying 227 passengers and 12 airline personnel. A hijacking incident offers one possible explanation behind the lost Malaysian flight. Also being studied are other potential terrorism angles, especially in connection with two passengers now known to have possessed stolen passports.
The Boeing 777 first flew in June 1995. Since entering commercial airline service, it's only been involved in two major incidents, one of them at London Heathrow Airport in 2008 - the other at San Francisco International Airport eight months ago.
Image copyright Aero Icarus - courtesy Wikimedia Commons