The Malaysian government has reportedly launched an investigation into the actions of civil aviation and military officials in connection with the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, to determine why efforts were not made to track and identify the plane shortly after flight controllers lost contact with it.
The probe aims to establish what happened in the hours after the plane disappeared, and whether mistakes were made in the initial responses to the incident, reported Reuters. Malaysian air traffic controllers and military officials have said they assumed the plane was turning back to the airport in Kuala Lumpur, even though none of the pilots onboard had issued a distress call.
The investigation could also look into why the military was not alerted to the plane's disappearance sooner, and why military officials did not make an effort to intercept the plane or track it in real-time as it deviated from its planned route, according to Reuters. [Facts & Timeline About Malaysia Flight 370]
"What happened at that time is being investigated and I can't say any more than that because it involves the military and the government," an unnamed senior government official told Reuters.
The Malaysia Airlines jetliner disappeared March 8 less than two hours into a scheduled flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Search efforts are ongoing in the southern Indian Ocean, where the plane is believed to have crashed, but so far, the whereabouts of the aircraft, and the 239 people onboard, remain unknown.
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Denise Chow was the assistant managing editor at Live Science before moving to NBC News as a science reporter, where she focuses on general science and climate change. Before joining the Live Science team in 2013, she spent two years as a staff writer for Space.com, writing about rocket launches and covering NASA's final three space shuttle missions. A Canadian transplant, Denise has a bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto, and a master's degree in journalism from New York University.