UPDATE 0948EDT, Monday:
Leads that once held promise evaporated overnight (US time) as the mystery behind the dissapperance of Malaysian Airlines flight 370 continues.
The oil slick that had captivated attention early on turned out to be a dead end. Authorities, which hoped it was from the presumably downed airplane, discovered it was instead bunker oil used in cargo ships after lab tests.
Reports from Vietnam that had been widely circulated about finding an aircraft door and part of a tail also turned up empty. Authorities searching in the same area were unable to relocate either object, while other reports have said the ‘door’ turned out to be logs tied together. The director general of the Malaysian civil aviation department added that the claims were “not verified officially by the Vietnamese authorities.”
Malaysian officials also say they have confirmed the identity of one of two passengers who used fake passports to board the plane. The person had no record of entering the country legally. No other details were provided, and no nexus between the stolen passports and the disappearance has been established.
The airplane seemingly upped and vanished three days ago after departing Kuala Lumpur for Beijing. The almost twelve year old Boeing 777-2000ER was traveling at 35,000 feet over the ocean when it abruptly lost all contact with 239 aboard. It has not been seen or heard from since.
Rescue crews from nine nations have joined in the search, which continues by sea through the night and will resume by air Tuesday morning.
UPDATE 0045EDT, Monday:
A press conference was recently held with another update. Here is what we know:
Malaysian’s Civil Aviation Department confirms that they have found no trace of the aircraft, and they cannot confirm that the oil slick is from the aircraft. Additionally, they have not detected any signals from the Boeing 777′s black box.
Officials also say that every angle is being looked at, and they are “not discounting the theory of terrorism” says the department. As far as a rumor that a Chinese group is taking responsibility, government officials have no comment.
Malaysian government officials have confirmed that five passengers did not board the missing flight. They also confirm that all unaccompanied baggage was removed from the aircraft before take off.
The airline will start flying the families of MH370 passengers to Kuala Lumpu soon.