A Malaysian official told the Associated Press that “it is conclusive,” Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 was hijacked. Then the Malaysian Prime Minister got up and said they haven’t determined yet what happened.
The Malaysian Prime Minister Nazib Razak issued a statement at 2:20pm Malaysian time, or 2:20am Eastern time US Saturday morning. A lot of it is about everything they’ve done to help, how they put their national security second to the search for the plane. They’ve determined that the plane was last reported in one of two corridors, that are pretty large. He said the plane could be as far as Kazakhstan.
Another shocker, the PM said the last confirmed communication between the plane and a satellite was 8:11am. The plane did the initial u-turn right after it turned off its transponder around 1:21am. That means the plane flew for another 7 hours! Which is a point I’d raised early on in this investigation, asking why everyone was assuming the plane crashed in the Straits of Malaca, between Malaysia and Indonesia after it did the u-turn, when it could have just flown on for another several thousand miles.
UPDATE: That means the plane was potentially in Chinese airspace, and for quite a bit of time at that. It’s difficult to imagine the Chinese would not have known that, and put a stop to it.
As none of the American TV networks have found this news important enough to interrupt programming, you can go watch the press statement on ABC online when it happens. (CNN is reportedly interrupting their programming for this when it happens.)
The Malaysian Armed Forces chief is reportedly neither confirming nor denying that the plane was hijacked. Clearly he has to wait for his boss to speak.
CBS is reporting that the Malaysians have yet to come up with a motive, or where the plane was taken.
I’d written earlier this evening about new data suggesting the plane had made a series of turns, and altitude changes, that experts are saying must have been intentional.
I will continue to update this story as it develops. Below is the earlier estimate I made of the possible distance the plane could have been flown without running out of fuel. You’ll note that Kazakshstan (off the map) is right above Kyrgyzstan in the top middle left.