Following confirmation that three passengers aboard the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines that disappeared in the skies over the Gulf of Thailand were US Citizens, the FBI is deploying agents and technical experts to assist people investigating the incident. This was revealed by a top federal law enforcement official in Washington, to Los Angeles Times.
The top ranking official who chose to remain anonymous revealed that the total number of US Citizens aboard this Malaysia Airlines flight was 4 – with one of them being an infant who was travelling with the other three individuals. “This gives us entree to the case”, he said, referring to the confirmation of US citizens aboard the aircraft. Meanwhile, the families of the people who were aboard the aircraft continue to throng Beijing International Airport in expectation of some positive development, says a Voice of America report.
The Malaysia Airlines flight 370 was on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. On board it were 239 passengers and crew. The aircraft was a Boeing 777-200 which is similar to the model that was involved in the San Francisco Asiana Airlines crash back in July 2013.
The news of FBI’s entry into the investigation of this incident comes more than 24 hours after the aircraft disappeared from the skies. Until now, no trace of the Malaysia Airlines jet has been found except for an oil slick in the sea which according to some experts resembles the ones generally seen after a plane crash. The slick is over 10 miles long, as reported by Vietnamese Air Force pilots.
Hours prior to this development, it was reported that amongst the people aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 were two individuals with stolen passports. US officials are still looking at a terrorism angle owing to this. At this time, though there is no credible evidence if this being a terrorist attack. A senior counter terrorism official with the government also brushed away any terrorism angle by saying that stolen passports are certainly not indicative of a terrorist attack. Once FBI starts investigating the matter, it will assist air crash investigators in reviewing CCTV video clips of passengers of the ill-fated plane captured at the Kuala Lumpur airport. This is in order to cross check if any of the passengers’ features matches with that of known Al Qaeda members.
Apart from the FBI, it is also plausible that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) too would be brought into the investigation after the initial search and rescue operations are called off. This is owing to the fact that the Malaysia Airlines jet involved in this incident was made by an American company – Boeing. This news couldn’t have come at a worse time for Boeing which recently found out that its new 787 Dreamliners were supplied with faulty wings by one of its suppliers.
[Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons]