Malaysia says jet's disappearance was deliberate, investigation to refocus on crew, passengers

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Associated Press

Posted on March 15, 2014 at 8:03 AM

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's prime minister says missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 was deliberately diverted and continued flying for more than six hours after losing contact with the ground.

Prime Minister Najib Razak's statement confirms that the plane's disappearance more than a week ago was not accidental.

It also expands an already vast search area. The plane's last communication with a satellite was in one of two possible "corridors" — a northern one from northern Thailand through to the border of the Central Asian countries Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, and a southern one from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.

The plane was carrying 239 people when it departed for an overnight flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing at 12:40 a.m. on March 8. Investigators are taking another look at the flight's crew and passengers. Police have visited the Kuala Lumpur homes of both the pilot and co-pilot today, according to a guard and several local reporters.

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130-a-07-(Philip Baum, aviation security consultant and editor, Aviation Security International magazine, in AP interview)-"never witnessed before"-Aviation security consultant Philip Baum says the new information about the plane's path after lraises extraordinary concerns. (Malaysia's prime minister says the plane was deliberately diverted and continued flying for more than six hours after losing contact with the ground.) (15 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *130 (03/15/14)££ 00:07 "never witnessed before"

131-a-18-(Philip Baum, aviation security consultant and editor, Aviation Security International magazine, in AP interview)-"commandeered the aircraft"-Aviation security consultant Philip Baum says there were hints from early reports that someone on board the plane may have been involved. ((note length)) (15 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *131 (03/15/14)££ 00:18 "commandeered the aircraft"

132-a-12-(Philip Baum, aviation security consultant and editor, Aviation Security International magazine, in AP Skype interview)-"is of concern"-Aviation security consultant Philip Baum says he worries about how easily a stowaway might have hidden aboard the plane, or how someone might've gotten clearance as, say, a cleaner or food caterer. (15 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *132 (03/15/14)££ 00:12 "is of concern"

133-a-16-(Philip Baum, aviation security consultant and editor, Aviation Security International magazine, in AP Skype interview)-"of the aircraft"-Aviation security consultant Philip Baum says he worries that someone flying almost any passenger plane could take control and then disable communications when a colleague leaves the flight deck on a break. (15 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *133 (03/15/14)££ 00:16 "of the aircraft"

134-a-16-(Ron Lindsay, former head of air safety, British Airways, in interview)-"to do it"-Ron Lindsay, a former head of air safety for British Airways, says the last verbal communication from the missing plane -- when someone on the flight deck thanked the Malaysian air traffic controllers -- opened a possible window of opportunity to vanish. COURTESY: Sky News ((mandatory on-air credit)) (15 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *134 (03/15/14)££ 00:16 "to do it"

135-a-05-(Ron Lindsay, former head of air safety, British Airways, in interview)-"aircraft was doing"-Ron Lindsay, a former head of air safety for British Airways, says there may have been a chance for the missing plane to disappear moments after it left Malaysian air space and before it was supposed to contact Vietnamese air traffic controllers. COURTESY: Sky News ((mandatory on-air credit)) (15 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *135 (03/15/14)££ 00:05 "aircraft was doing"

136-a-15-(Ron Lindsay, former head of air safety, British Airways, in interview)-"to embark upon"-Ron Lindsay, a former head of air safety for British Airways, says the timing of the disappearance of the plane, when it crossed from one country's air space to another's, suggests someone flying the plane might have been responsible. COURTESY: Sky News ((mandatory on-air credit)) (15 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *136 (03/15/14)££ 00:15 "to embark upon"

APPHOTO WM102: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, center, Malaysia's Minister for Transport Hishamuddin Hussein, left, and director general of the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, delivers a statement to the media regarding the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Saturday, March 15, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Najib said Saturday that investigators believe the missing Malaysian airliner's communications were deliberately disabled, that it turned back from its flight to Beijing and flew for more than seven hours. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E) (15 Mar 2014)

<<APPHOTO WM102 (03/15/14)££

APPHOTO XKL118: A Muslim man walks past the missing Malaysia Airlines co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid's house after a prayer in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Malaysian police have already said they are looking at the psychological state, the family life and connections of pilot Zaharie, 53, and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27. Both have been described as respectable, community-minded men. The Malaysian jetliner missing for more than a week had its communications deliberately disabled and its last signal came about 7 1/2 hours after takeoff, meaning it could have ended up as far as Kazakhstan or into the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin) (15 Mar 2014)

<<APPHOTO XKL118 (03/15/14)££

APPHOTO KL802: Journalists attempt to get information from Malaysian police officers after they came out of the missing Malaysia Airlines pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah's house in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Malaysian police have already said they are looking at the psychological state, the family life and connections of pilot Zaharie, 53, and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27. Both have been described as respectable, community-minded men. The Malaysian jetliner missing for more than a week had its communications deliberately disabled and its last signal came about 7 1/2 hours after takeoff, meaning it could have ended up as far as Kazakhstan or into the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday. (AP Photo) MALAYSIA OUT (15 Mar 2014)

<<APPHOTO KL802 (03/15/14)££

APPHOTO KL801: A police car comes out of a main gate of the missing Malaysia Airlines pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah's house in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Malaysian police have already said they are looking at the psychological state, the family life and connections of pilot Zaharie, 53, and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27. Both have been described as respectable, community-minded men. The Malaysian jetliner missing for more than a week had its communications deliberately disabled and its last signal came about 7 1/2 hours after takeoff, meaning it could have ended up as far as Kazakhstan or into the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday. (AP Photo) MALAYSIA OUT (15 Mar 2014)

<<APPHOTO KL801 (03/15/14)££

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