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Published: Sunday March 16, 2014 MYT 6:12:00 PM
Updated: Sunday March 16, 2014 MYT 10:32:41 PM

Missing MH370: Pilots did not ask to fly together

KUALA LUMPUR: The two pilots of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 did not ask to fly together, said Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein on Sunday.

The search for the missing plane entered a dramatic new phase on Saturday after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak acknowledged for the first time that the plane was deliberately diverted, and that it could have gone as far north as Kazakhstan in Central Asia or southwards towards the Indian Ocean.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, who was also present at the press conference on Sunday, said investigation now includes ground staff, as well as crew and passengers of the plane.

Investigations include possibility of hijack, sabotage and terrorism, he added.

Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah (left) and his First Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid. According to Hishammuddin, the pilots did not request to fly together.

The government said earlier on Sunday that police had searched the homes of the two pilots of the missing plane and were examining the captain's home flight simulator, but cautioned it was a "normal" procedure.

"Officers spoke to family members of the pilot and experts are examining the pilot's flight simulator. On Saturday, the police also searched the home of the co-pilot."

Flight MH370, with 239 people on board, went missing near the South China Sea on March 8.

The revelation refocused attention on the background of the 239 passengers and crew, while sparking both outrage and relief among anxious family members in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing. - The Straits Times/ANN

Tags / Keywords: Missing plane, MH370, Malaysia Airlines, Pilots

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