Sources close to investigation tell Telegraph that team working on MH370 mystery believe it was crashed deliberately
Flight MH370 crashed into the Indian Ocean in an apparent suicide mission, well-placed sources revealed have revealed, as Malaysia’s prime minister announced that everyone on the missing aircraft had died.
The team investigating the Boeing 777’s disappearance believe no malfunction or fire was capable of causing the aircraft’s unusual flight or the disabling of its communications system before it veered wildly off course on a seven-hour silent flight into the sea. An analysis of the flight’s routing, signalling and communications shows that it was flown “in a rational way”.
An official source told The Telegraph that investigators believe “this has been a deliberate act by someone on board who had to have had the detailed knowledge to do what was done … Nothing is emerging that points to motive.”
Asked about the possibility of a plane malfunction or an on-board fire, the source said: “It just does not hinge together… [The investigators] have gone through processes you do to get the plane where it flew to for eight hours. They point to it being flown in a rational way.”
On Monday the worst fears of the families of the 239 people on board were realised when Najib Razak, Malaysia’s prime minister, announced that no one could have survived.
The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch and the British satellite firm Inmarsat provided information that led to his conclusions, but Britain was also caught in the middle of an international blame game over delays in the right search area being pinpointed.
Relatives of the missing passengers are angry that Inmarsat worked out within 24 hours that MH370 was likely to have crashed where the search is now concentrated, but it took a further 10 days for rescue teams to act on the information.
Despite no confirmed sightings of wreckage, Mr Razak revealed that new analysis by the AAIB and Inmarsat showed the plane ended its eight-hour flight on March 8 in the deep, remote waters of the Indian Ocean, about 1,500 miles west of Perth, with no survivors.
“This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites,” he said.
“It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”
At a hotel in Beijing, some family members fainted amid an outpouring of anger and grief as the agonising wait to learn the fate of the flight ended with the news they most feared. For some it came via a text message from Malaysia Airlines.
A family member of a passenger from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 leaves on a stretcher after fainting at Lido Hotel in Beijing, China (Getty)
They later delivered a scathing denunciation of Malaysia Airlines and the Malaysian government, branding them “the real executioners” of the MH370 passengers.
But some continued to cling on to hope, pointing to the continued failure to find the plane. “No confirmed wreckage, so no real closure,” said Sarah Bajc, whose American partner Philip Wood was on board.
The flight remains shrouded in mystery and misinformation. Malaysia Airlines revealed for the first time yesterday that Fariq Abdul Hamid, the 27-year-old co-pilot, was on his first flight aboard a Boeing 777 as a fully-approved pilot. Fariq joined the airline seven years ago and had flown 2,763 hours but was only on his sixth flight in the cockpit of a 777 – and his first without a check pilot overseeing him.
But analysts said the co-pilot’s inexperience in a 777 cockpit would probably not have posed a risk.
Somewhat surprisingly, Malaysia Airlines said last night its “prayers go out to all the loved ones of the 226 passengers and of our 13 friends and colleagues” – even though the passenger manifest shows 227 passengers and 12 crew. The airline has not yet explained the discrepancy.
A naval vessel was last night on its way to locate two pieces of debris spotted by an Australian air force aircraft, one orange and rectangular, one seven feet long by eight inches across and grey or green and cylindrical. In recent days, numerous floating objects have been spotted but none has yet been confirmed as wreckage.
The 26-nation search has covered half the globe from Australia to Kazakhstan and followed the plane’s disappearance during a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The aircraft issued no distress calls and – somewhat suspiciously – it vanished at the moment that its absence was least likely to raise alarm bells, just as it was passing over from Malaysian to Vietnamese air traffic controllers.
Malaysian authorities have come under intense criticism for their handling of the ordeal, including claims they hid information and bungled the search.
Foreign intelligence agencies have conducted two rounds of checks on the passengers and found nothing suspicious about any. Nor have any leads emerged from an intensive police investigation into the two prime suspects, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, the 53-year-old pilot, and Fariq. Neither has any known background of extremism or psychological problems.
Police have interviewed more than a hundred friends and family members of the pilots, conducted a forensic investigation of a flight simulator seized from Zaharie’s home, combed through their laptops and flying records, and enlisted the help of the FBI and Interpol. But a source involved in the police investigation told The Telegraph: “We are still clueless. We have not collected anything suspicious.”