Written by Staff Writer
18 Jul, 2014 | 2:52 pm
The downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet over Ukraine has led to speculation that the same carrier’s missing flight MH370 may also have been blown out of the sky by a missile.
The missing airliner with 239 passengers and crew aboard was travelling from Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, to Beijing on March 8 when it lost contact with air traffic control.
No trace of it has been found since despite a huge search involving ships from a host of nations including the UK, which sent HMS Echo.
Malaysia Airlines was heavily criticised for its handling of the aftermath of the crash when distraught relatives were deliberately kept in the dark over developments during the frantic initial search.
An explosive book, Flight MH370: The Mystery, made the sensational claim that MH370 was accidentally shot down by US or Thai strike fighters as part of a training drill that went horribly wrong.
Written by British author Nigel Cawthorne, it puts forward the theory that the exercise was to involve mock warfare on land, water and in the air using live ammunition. One passage reads: “Say a participant accidentally shot down Flight MH370. Such things do happen. No one wants another Lockerbie, so those involved would have every reason to keep quiet about it.”
New Zealand oil rig worker Mike McKay has also suggested the plane was shot down shortly after it stopped communicating with air traffic controllers. He claims to have seen a burning plane crashing in the Gulf of Thailand.
Meanwhile conspiracy theorists have suggested the plane landed secretly at a US military base on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. Others maintain it was hijacked to Afghanistan.
Experts, however, are convinced the passengers and crew are most likely to have died from suffocation after a pressurisation failure while the aircraft flew on automatic pilot before crashing when it ran out of fuel.
The Australian Navy’s ship Ocean Shield, which carries a robot submarine, is continuing to scour the ocean floor for the plane’s black box which could reveal exactly what happened.
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