Reports on missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 have been conflicting since it disappeared Mar.8, and now another claim is being denied.
After search crews were unable to find any of the debris allegedly spotted by Chinese satellites, Malaysian officials denied reports by the Wall Street Journal that the plane had flown for an additional four hours, Al Jazeera reports.
Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia’s acting Transportation Minister, denied the report at a news conference Mar. 13, confirming that all communication had been lost with flight MH370 at 1:07 a.m. Mar. 8.
The Wall Street Journal said that aviation investigators and national security officials believed the plane flew for a total of five hours. This claim was based on apparent data that was downloaded automatically from the Boeing 777’s engines and sent to the ground as routine maintenance.
The Wall Street Journal reported that a person familiar with the matter said the development sparked speculation from some U.S. officials about whether the plane had been steered off course for another purpose. The newspaper added that it was unclear if the plane had landed or crashed.
As the reports surfaced, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said at a news conference that China will not give up the search for the missing flight.
Of the 239 passengers aboard the plane, 153 were Chinese citizens.
Premier Li Keqiang said China currently has eight ships and 10 satellites deployed for the search effort.
He added that they would not give up on any clue that was found.