China Lost Plane Images ‘A Mistake’
Chinese satellite images that were said to show debris from a missing Malaysian airliner were released by mistake, Malaysia’s transport minister says.Hishammuddin Hussein also denied a US report that the plane might have flown for hours after contact was lost with the Boeing 777.
Flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing went missing late on Friday, with 239 passengers and crew on board.
The minister said the disappearance of the plane was unprecedented.
Mr Hussein told reporters at Kuala Lumpur International Airport that the Chinese embassy in Kuala Lumpur had said Beijing’s satellite images were released by mistake and “did not show any debris from MH370”.
The grainy satellite images were released by China’s State Administration of Science on Wednesday.
Mr Hussein also denied a report in the Wall Street Journal that the plane had sent engine data to the ground for more than four hours after it lost contact with air traffic control.
He said that his team had spoken to Malaysian Airlines and Rolls-Royce, the engine’s manufacturers, who both said that the report was “inaccurate”.
“The last transmission from the aircraft was at 0107 which indicated that everything was normal,” Mr Hussein said.
He added that efforts to locate the aircraft were ongoing, promising to “spare nothing in our efforts to find MH370”.
“There are currently 43 ships and 40 aircraft searching the South China Sea and Straits of Malacca,” he said.