Without a trace

MYSTERY still surrounds the case of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which vanished into thin air (according to radar screens from ground control) while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing over the weekend.
In a latest development, Malaysian authorities said the plane might have changed its course. The Malaysian military has radar data showing the missing jetliner changing course and making it to the Malacca Strait, which is hundreds of miles away from the last position recorded by civilian authorities.
But after that, they lost contact with Flight MH370.
According to Agence France Presse (AFP), two similar cases happened in 2007 and in 2009. in January 2007 in Indonesia, Adam Air Flight 174 (with 102 people on board) disappeared from the radar during cruise phase. Debris was found nine days later and it took months to recover the plane’s black box.
In June 2009, Air France flight 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean while en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, killing 228 people on board. Debris was not found for days and it took years to locate the wreckage.
The Philippines has joined in the global effort search and rescue mission to locate the missing Malaysian aircraft. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) deployed Navy patrol vessels BRP Apolinario Mabini, recent acquisition BRP Gregorio del Pilar and BRP Emilio Aguinaldo to patrol the West Philippine Sea.
Air Force’s Fokker F-27 Friendship and Norman Britten Islander aircraft were also directed to join the search to back the Navy ships.
The search for the plane was initially focused on waters between the eastern coast of Malaysia and Vietnam, the position where aviation authorities last tracked it. No evidence has been found so far.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian government expresses gratitude to other nations (including the Philippines and the United States) for offering assistance in search and rescue operations.
1st Lieutenant Cherryl Tindog, AFP Western Command spokesperson said that the Philippine vessels will remain in the disputed waters, as long as the Malaysian government needs them. He also said that another Philippine Air Force aircraft is on standby, should they need further reinforcement.
“In times like this, where there is an emergency and a crisis, the AFP sets aside issues and conflicts to give way to the provision of help, humanitarian assistance for the welfare of the people,”  Tindog said.
As this mystery remains unsolved, families and friends of  Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 passengers could only pray and hope for the best.
After all, miracles still happen.

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