The mystery regarding what has happened to the Malaysian Airlines flight has deepened on Sunday as the search has continued for the aircraft. A military radar has indicated that the flight could have turned back to return to Kuala Lumpur prior to vanishing.
The flight carried 227 passengers along with 12 crewmembers. It suddenly disappeared in less than an hour after it took off for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.
The plane’s disappearance has triggered a huge search and rescue operation throughout parts of the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, which has involved the military from China, Vietnam, Malaysia and the United States.
Officials from search and rescue in Vietnam said on Sunday that there was an investigation about a report on suspected debris seen floating near where the flight was thought to disappear.
The object was spotted by an aircraft from Singapore about 100 kilometers off the coast of Vietnam.
Three vessels from Vietnam were dispatched to that location and were due to arrive there sometime Sunday night. Two military airlifters and three vessels from the Singapore navy were sent to join the search.
The plane’s disappearance and the fate of its passengers and crew grew more complicated by revelations that two of the plane’s passengers appeared to have boarded with passports that were stolen. That prompted executives from the airline and officials from aviation to say foul play could not be ruled out.
The police chief in Malaysia said the investigators did not rule out the possibility of terrorism, but were not considering it the more likely cause of the plane’s disappearance.
Rescuers said the plane might have attempted a return to Kuala Lumpur, which might mean it could be in another location.
Military radar indicated that the plane might have reversed its course, said the chief of the air force General Rodzali Duad. The chief said military officials were continuing to study the data from the radar, adding that it was also corroborating using radar data from civilian authorities.
More than one dozen nations were represented by the passengers on the plane. Two people an Italian and an Austrian were not on the plane as their passports were the ones stolen in Thailand.