US investigators say the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 flew for a total of five hours, potentially travelling for another four hours after it last made contact southeast of Vietnam.
That means the jet and its 239 passengers may have travelled an additional 4,000 kilometres from when it last checked in at about 1.30am local time on Saturday.
The new information, based on data automatically transmitted from the Boeing 777’s Rolls-Royce engines to the manufacturer, vastly widens the scope of the search.
Malaysian authorities were previously reported to have detected the aircraft over the Malacca Strait at about 2.40am, but air force chief Rodzali Daud has since denied making comments attributed to him.
The Wall Street Journal reports that US counter-terrorism officials suspect someone aboard the plane may have flown it to another location after turning off its tracking systems.
A days-long, international search effort has yet to turn up any debris or other evidence of the plane.
There’s more on the WSJ.
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