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Fariq's 'phone call near Penang' debunked

Published:  |  Modified:

The search for MH370 enters its 37 th day as search efforts in the South Indian Ocean west of Perth close in on what they believe is the black box, judging from audio signals received last week that searchers say matches those from the aircraft flight recorders.

Latest developments

  • No new signals detected in last 24 hours

  • Up to 12 planes, 14 ships continue search
  • Hishammuddin Hussein denies co-pilot's call near Penang
  • Follow us as we bring the latest updates and coverage for the search of Flight MH370:

    Report on phone call doesn't check out

    11pm:  Communication and Multimedia Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek says he has checked with relevant parties and is sure that MH370 co-pilot  Fariq Abdul Hamid did not attempt to make a phone call from the plane near Penang.

     

    "I appeal to all quarters to be more responsible in issuing statements because an irresponsible statement can confuse the people. 
     
    "It can also complicate the search process which should be given priority," he was quoted as saying by Bernama .

    Australia - a welcoming friend

    6.10pm:  Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot says he is considering to hold a memorial and to build a monument in memory of MH370, subject to the approval of the families and governments involved.
     
    "We would welcome - whenever they wish - families of the victims to come to Australia. They will find themselves in the arms of a welcoming friend...
     
    "At some point - with the agreement of the families and the interested governments - we would like to hold a memorial service, and down the track maybe a build suitable monument, but this is the kind of thing that we would want to be in close consultation with families and governments about before we finalised," he said.
     
    He said this during an interview with the Chinese broadcaster CCTV published yesterday, where he was asked whether Australia is making arrangements for the families of those on-board the aircraft.

    Authorities unaware of purported phone call

    6.05pm:  Department of Civil Aviation director-general Azharuddin Abdul Rahmah also echoes  acting transport minister's earlier claim of ignorance on reports that MH370 co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid supposedly tried to make a phone call from the missing aircraft.

     

    He told Star Online that that there have been no reports of the passengers nor crew making a phone call since the plane went missing, including by Fariq.

    Claims that Fariq attempted to make the phone call were reported by NST today.

    Who gets the black box?

    1pm: Defence Minister and Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin says attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail is currently in the UK to discuss the legalities of who will have custody of MH370’s black box once it is found.

    Other MH370-related issues he addresses at a press conference today after inspecting preparations for Defence Services Asia exhibition are:

  • He reiterates no knowledge of a report that MH370 co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid had attempted to make a phone call after the plane went missing, stressing this is a matter for the police investigations.
  • He explains his apparent contradiction with the inspector-general of police’s previous statement that the MH370 passengers had been cleared by the police, saying what the IGP meant was nothing suspicious has turned up but investigations are still ongoing
  • No signals detected since yesterday

    8am: Up to 11 military aircraft, one civil aircraft and 14 ships have begun today's search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean, says the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC).

     

    Searchers plan to look at an area of 57,506 square km approximately 2,200km north west of Perth.

     

    ADV Ocean Shield which had last week picked up signals that appear to come from a black box will continue to try and reacquire the signal with a more focused sweep using US' towed pinger locater.

     

    The ship is aided with an AP-3C Orion which will conduct an acoustic search.

     

    "This work continues in an effort to narrow the underwater search area for when the autonomous underwater vehicle is deployed," says the JACC, noting there has been no new signals in the last 24 hours, similar to yesterday.

     

    South-easterly winds and isolated showers are expected in the search area with sea swells up to one metre and visibility of five kilometres.

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