KUALA UMPUR: This is the chronology of events pertaining to missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370. It has been almost 17 months after it lost contact at 2.40am on March 8, last year.
The aircraft disappeared 120 nautical miles east of Kota Kinabalu over the South China Sea, and there was no indication of a distress signal from the
Boeing 777-200ER aircraft with 239 people on board.
The plane had taken off from the KL International Airport (KLIA) at 12.41am on March 8, 2014 and was scheduled to land in Beijing at 6.30am the same day.
The passengers comprised 38 Malaysians, Chinese nationals (153), Indonesians (seven), Australians (seven), French (three), USA nationals (three), New Zealand (two), Ukraine (two), Canada (two), Russia (one), Italy (one), Taiwan (one), Holland (one) and Austria (one).
Following the incident, Malaysia and various other countries launched an international Search and Rescue (SAR) operation and until today, the search is ongoing.
* March 8, 2014 (Day 1) – A SAR operation for the missing aircraft was launched in the South China Sea at 5.30am.
* March 9, 2014 (Day 2) – The search area was extended to Melaka Straits after it was confirmed the aircraft had made an air-turn-back. – Several
countries including Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, China and the United States deployed their men and assets to aid the search.
* March 15, 2014 (Day 8) – Prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the plane’s last satellite communication was with one of two possible
corridors; a northern corridor stretching approximately from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand or a southern corridor
stretching approximately from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean. – 26 countries were involved in this phase covering 2.24 million square
* March 24, 2014 (Day 17) – Najib announces that data released by Britain’s Inmarsat satellite concluded that the flight ended in the southern Indian Ocean, and Australia would lead the search operation there.
* April 1, 2014 (Day 25) – The Australian Government launches the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) to co-ordinate the search for MH370.
* April 3, 2014 (Day 27) – Najib arrived in Perth, Australia to have a first-hand look at the search operation, holds meeting with Australian counterpart, Tony Abbott.
* April 4, 2014 (Day 28) – JACC said search for MH370 enters new phase with underwater search in the southern Indian Ocean to scour treacherous waters to track down the black box ‘pinger’.
* July 31, 2014 (Day 146) – JACC said the bathymetric survey by vessels Zhu Kezhen and Fugro Equator along the seventh arch at southern Indian Ocean is progressing.
* Oct 21, 2014 (Day 227) – Malaysian contracted vessel, GO Phoenix, joins search operations of Malaysia-Australia contracted ships, Fugro Discovery and Fugro Equator.
– Later, another ship, Fugro Supporter, was added to assist the search, .
* Jan 29, 2015 (Day 326) – Malaysian DCA Director-General Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman officially declared MH370 an accident, in accordance with the Standards of Annexes 12 and 13 of the Chicago Convention and that all 239 of the passengers and crew on board MH370 were presumed to have lost their lives.
* Feb 12, 2015 (Day 340) – Malaysian government discussed with China for additional ships in the search mission for MH370, which already had four vessels involved.
* June 18, 2015 (Day 466) – Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said Malaysia would continue the second phase search for MH370 with only two ships scouring a remote area of the Indian ocean. The first phase was completed in the same month with the area searched stretching more than 52,000 square kilometres.
* July 29, 2015 (Day 508)- A beach cleaner in Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean found a 2.7 metre-long wing flap called flaperon which experts believe comes from a Boeing 777. The only Boeing reported lost in the Indian Ocean is MH370.
* July 30, 2015 (Day 509) – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Malaysia had dispatched two teams – one to the French city of Toulouse and another to Reunion Island – following the discovery of airline debris on the island.
* August 6 (Day 515) – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at a press conference at 1.45am at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur confirmed that the flaperon found in Reunion Island is from the missing MH370. – BERNAMA