PETALING JAYA: It has now been 48 hours since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, but there is still no clear answer what happened.
Families of the 227 passengers and 12 crews in the flights are left in the dark without any way to know whether they should continue hoping or start grieving for their possible loss. Yet is known that next of kin were flown to Vietnam.
In the face of such a potential tragedy Malaysians and people from all over the world and all creeds and colours have come together to pray for the safe return of the passengers and crew of the airline.
Yet as time passes the chances of them being found alive and well become increasingly slim.
Speculation over acts terrorism have become rife after it was found out that two impostors were on board MH370 using the passports of an Italian national and an Austrian national.
The threat of terrorism has also attracted the attention of the United States government, who dispatched members of its Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) agents to Malaysia on Sunday to help with the investigation of the incident.
But no confirmation has been made by any of the authorities involved in the search and rescue mission.
Malaysia, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia and several other countries have dispatched a large number of air force aircrafts, navy ships, coastal guard ships and military planes to the region in South China Sea between Malaysia and Vietnam but so far no clear evidence has found.
According to Reuters, Vietnamese state media had reported that the plane had crashed off South Vietnam but the statement have since been denied by acting Transport Minister and Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
“We are doing everything in our power to locate the plane.
"We are looking for accurate information from the Malaysian military. They are waiting for information from the Vietnamese side," Hishamuddin was reported as saying.
Reports indicated that Vietnamese Admiral Ngo Van Phat later said that his earlier remark about a crash site having been identified was made based on a presumed location given by Malaysia beneath the flight’s path.
If it is indeed confirmed that the plane has crashed, it would be likely mark the US-built airliner's deadliest incident since entering service 19 years ago, Reuters reported.
The plane disappear on Friday without giving out any distress signal between the Malaysia-Vietnam waters.
The MAS MH370 flight lost contact with air traffic controllers at about 1.30 am, an hour after it left Malaysia.
People from 14 nationalities were among the 227 passengers, including at least at least 152 Chinese, 38 Malaysians, seven Indonesians, six Australians, five Indians, four French and three Americans.
While the rescue teams are trying to locate the plane, relatives of the passengers in the plane are becoming more anxious.
In Beijing, it has been reported that angry relatives were accusing the airline of keeping them in dark, while the state media criticised them for their poor response.
Malaysia Airlines has one of the best safety records among full-service carriers in the Asia-Pacific region.
It identified the pilot of MH370 as Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a 53-year-old Malaysian who joined the carrier in 1981 and has 18,365 hours of flight experience.
Chinese state media said 24 Chinese artists and family members, who were in Kuala Lumpur for an art exchange programme, were aboard. The Sichuan provincial government said Zhang Jinquan, a well-known calligrapher, was on the flight.
As of now, all the world can do is watch with bated breath, and keep holding on to hope.