Malaysian Airlines flight MH370: Timeline of events
Posted on Mar 24 2014 | IANS
The Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 which went missing March 8 with 239 people on-board shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, it is officially announced in Kuala Lumpur Monday, ended in the southern Indian Ocean with no survivors.
Following is the timeline of events:
March 8: Contact with flight MH370, which took off from Kuala Lumpur at 12.40 a.m., is lost at 1.40 a.m. and it vanishes from radar when flying over the Ho Chi Minh air traffic control area in Vietnam. It was expected to land in Beijing at 6.30 a.m. the same day.
March 8: There are speculations about the missing jet crashing into the South China Sea off Vietnam, according to a report given by Rear Admiral Ngo Van Phat, political commissar of the Fifth Naval Region of Vietnam.
March 8: Reports of a possible crash denied by Malaysian Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein, who says that no sign of any plane wreckage has been found in the suggested crash site.
March 8: Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang Saturday order emergency measures over the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.
March 8: The Civil Aviation Administration of China informed by Vietnamese civil aviation authorities that Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore conducting a joint search south of Vietnam's Tho Chu Islands. China dispatches two maritime rescue ships to the South China Sea to help in rescue work.
March 8: Vietnamese Deputy Transport Minister Pham Quy Tieu says rescuers are expected to arrive in waters near the southern Phu Quoc Island where two "suspicious" oil slicks are spotted.
March 9: A team assembled by the Chinese transport ministry sets out on two vessels from the Sanya port in Hainan province to the South China Sea area where the flight MH370 suspected to have plunged.
March 9: Malaysian authorities say the aircraft may have turned back before it disappeared. They also investigate two passengers who they say used false passports to board the plane.
March 10: One of the two suspects with stolen passports is identified as an Iranian teen, but it is concluded he had no terror links.
March 10: Search expanded to the Andaman Sea as well as the Gulf of Thailand, apart from the South China Sea. The US, Australia and New Zealand offer to help with the operations to look for the missing jet.
March 11: The US Navy dispatches one more Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer to join the multinational search. The USS Kidd joins the USS Pinckney in the search efforts.
March 11: China sends its second naval vessel, Jinggangshan, to the target sea area forming a unit with Mianyang.
March 11: Interpol denies terror link to the disappearance of the jet.
March 12: Search area further widened to the Strait of Malacca, on the western coast of Malaysia, after reports of finding possible debris that are later denied.
March 12: Search and rescue teams move to the Andaman Sea to the south of Thailand.
March 12: China sends third military aircraft to join the search operations.
March 13: Possible speculations are made by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after it warned of a "cracking" problem on Boeing-777 airplanes, just days before flight MH370 went missing.
March 13: India joins the search for the missing Malaysian aircraft, pressing into service its navy, air force and the coast guard.
March 14: Search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane is expanded to the Indian Ocean based on new but inconclusive information about the aircraft, the White House says.
March 14: Chinese researchers detect a "seafloor event" in the waters between Malaysia and Vietnam, an area suspected to be linked with the plane's disappearance.
March 14: 57 ships and 48 aircraft involving 13 countries are engaged in the search.
March 15: Investigators conclude that the flight MH370 was hijacked. According to the reports, the communication devices might have been deliberately switched off and the hijackers might have turned the flight around.
March 15: It is reported that a British satellite system operated by Inmarsat received an automated signal from flight MH370 at least five hours after the plane was reported lost.
March 15: Vietnam ends search for the missing jet since nothing is found in the South China Sea.
March 15: Police search the homes of pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmed Shah and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid and find a personal flight simulator in Zaharie's residence.
March 15: The Thai navy suspends its search over the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea.
March 15: India intensifies efforts by deploying additional naval and air assets for searching an expanded area in central and east Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.
March 16: Reports say that the pilot and co-pilot did not ask to fly together.
March 16: The Malaysian government asks for assistance from as many as 25 countries, including Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, China, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Australia.
March 16: India suspends search but stays on stand-by.
March 17: Search continues for the missing jet with focus shifting to the Indian Ocean with help offered by the Australian government.
March 18: Two search corridors narrowed down with the northern corridor extending to south and central Asia and the southern corridor covering a zone stretching over the Indian Ocean to Australia.
March 19: Maldives island residents report seeing "low flying plane" making an incredibly loud noise on the morning of the plane's disappearance.
March 19: Malaysian police investigate the flight simulator found in Captain Zaharie's residence.
March 19: The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) conducts the search in a smaller area closer to the Western Australian coast.
March 19: All game logs were found to have been deleted from Zaharie's personal flight simulator Feb 3. Further investigations carried on by police.
March 19: Bangladesh searches Bay of Bengal.
March 20: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announces that two objects, the larger one 24 metres long, possibly related to the missing Malaysian airliner found in the southern Indian Ocean. Four aircraft are sent to the area 2,500 km southwest of Perth, the capital of Western Australia state.
March 21: Britain deploys a Royal Navy ship to help in search for the missing passenger jet.
March 21: India dispatches a long endurance transport aircraft of Indian Air Force and a maritime surveillance aircraft of the navy to join the search.
March 22: The suspicious objects spotted by satellite in the southern Indian Ocean remain "the best lead" in the massive search, says acting Prime Minister of Australia, Warren Truss.
March 22: Norway joins the search.
March 22: Two Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft of the Chinese air force leave Malaysia for Australia to join the search for the missing Malaysian airliner in the southern Indian Ocean.
March 22: A Chinese satellite image shows a 22-metre-long, 13-metre-wide object in the southern Indian Ocean.
March 23: Search continues with no findings.
March 24: Two new objects that could be debris of the missing airliner are spotted by searchers in the southern Indian Ocean area.
March 24: Malaysia receives a set of French satellite images "captured by cameras" Sunday that might be related to the missing Malaysian airliner.
March 24: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announces that new data has confirmed that the flight "ended in the southern Indian Ocean". Malaysia Airlines says in a message to relatives of all those on board the aircraft that there was no chance of any survivors.