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Officials deny that missing Malaysian plane flew for four hours after losing contact


Malaysia

Officials deny that missing Malaysian plane flew for four hours after losing contact

There is no breakthrough in the search for flight MH370, but strong denials of dramatic media reports.

Officials have rejected a Wall Street Journal report that the plane may have flown for four hours after losing contact with air traffic controllers.

The paper said this was based on data automatically sent to the ground from the Boeing engines. But Malaysian officials deny that.

Transport Minister Hishammudin Hussein told a news conference: “Rolls Royce and Boeing teams are here in Kuala Lumpur and have worked with MAS (the airline) and the investigation teams since Sunday. These issues have never been raised.

“Whenever there are new details they must be corroborated. Since today’s media reports MAS has asked Rolls Royce and Boeing specifically about the data; as far as Rolls Royce and Boeing are concerned, those reports are inaccurate.”

Officials also said reports of debris showing up on Chinese satellite images have come to nothing.

Amid mounting criticism, officials have also again strongly defended their search efforts, in what is being described as the most baffling mystery in modern aviation history.

It is an agonising wait for relatives of the 239 people on board.

Efforts to locate the plane are being hampered by conflicting reports about its possible flight path. The searchers are now combing an area of 100,000 square kilometres.

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