Little progress made in search for Malaysia Airlines jetliner

A task force from several countries is working to determine happened to a missing jetliner, but little progress has been made.
March 10, 2014 6:13:32 AM PDT
By sea and by air the massive search for a passenger jet that disappeared with 239 people, including three Americans, on Friday is continuing in Southeast Asia.

There's a new report that one of the plane's doors may have been spotted in the waters where an oil slick was previously seen.

But that is precious little to go on as a task force from several countries tries to find out how Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 and all aboard could vanish from thin air.

Turns out that oil slick in the South China Sea did not lead back to the wreckage of the missing jetliner, only deepening the mysterious disappearance of the missing jetliner. .

The Boeing 777-200 took off with 239 aboard on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

It flew out of radar coverage. Then 10 minutes later the crew radioed their position. And then, nothing.

"Maybe there was a period in there where something catastrophic was happening, and they just didn't have time to communicate that," said former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Col. Steve Ganyard.

Possibilities include a structural or mechanical failure, pilot error, or a deliberate act.

"They're gonna have to find some part of the wreckage somewhere in order to start making those determinations," said House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Mike Rogers.

A U.S. surveillance plane and a Navy warship have joined more than 60 ships and aircraft scouring the South China Sea.

"There's literally tens of thousands of miles of ocean that are gonna have to be searched," said Col. Ganyard.

"We believe that the family members should prepare themselves for the worst," said Malaysia Airlines Commercial Director Hugh Dunleavy.

Exactly what anguished relatives do not want to hear.

"Look, I'm just taking it minute by minute," said Danica Weeks, whose husband was on Flight 370. "I've got two young kids, so? and I've got a 3-year-old who's asking 'when is daddy going to Skype?'"

One of the three Americans on the flight was 50-year-old Philip Wood. He grew up in North Texas. Wood was an IBM executive who was being relocated to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from Beijing.

The two other Americans aboard were children, 2-year-old Yan Zhang and 4-year-old Nicole Meng.

Deepening the mystery are two men posing as an Italian and an Austrian who apparently boarded the plane using stolen passports, raising the specter of terrorism.

The Italian passport was in the name of Luigi Maraldi, who says he alerted Italian police it had been stolen.

Malaysia's transport minister says authorities are looking at footage of the two mystery passengers as they try to determine who they are.

At a news conference, he said that intelligence officials are examining "visuals of these two people."

Interpol says it knew about the stolen passports. But the international police agency says no authorities checked its databases on stolen documents before the jet departed from Kuala Lumpur.

The plane's flight recorders are now the best hope of getting to the bottom of what happened. But for now, they are believed lost at the bottom of the sea.

(ABC7 News and The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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