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Malaysian PM Says Disappearance of Plane was 'Deliberate Action'

  • Steve Herman
  • VOA News

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (C) addresses reporters as Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (L) and Department of Civil Aviation's Director General Azharuddin Abdul Rahman (R) stand by him, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, March 15, 2014.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (C) addresses reporters as Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (L) and Department of Civil Aviation's Director General Azharuddin Abdul Rahman (R) stand by him, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, March 15, 2014.

Malaysian, American and other authorities investigating what happened to a missing jetliner en route to China one week ago are concluding that its disappearance was a deliberate action.

Malaysia's prime minister confirms that whatever took Flight 370 off course was not an accident.

Najib Razak told reporters Saturday the transponder of Flight 370 appears to have been deliberately switched off before the airliner turned back, flew west over peninsula Malaysia and then shifted to a northwest heading.

Najib said, "Up until the point at which it left military primary radar coverage these movements are consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane."

But the prime minister emphasized that hijacking is not the only possibility authorities are considering for the suspicious actions.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 239 people on board was en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.

Najib also announced that the search effort in the South China Sea, where authorities had concentrated their resources for a week, is ending.

Newly revealed satellite data puts the aircraft's last known path, in a northern corridor from a border region of Kazakhstan to northern Thailand, or a southern one from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.

There has been no trace of any debris on land or in the sea from the large airliner since it vanished on March 8th.

The final signal from the jet received by a satellite was nearly seven hours after ground control lost contact with the aircraft.

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