Saturday, March 08, 2014

Tragedy in the air

It is very unfortunate that a Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 239 persons has reportedly crashed while flying over the Vietnamese seas.

While the cause of this mishap is not yet known, there are indications of a sabotage. There was no distress call (mayday) from the pilot. This means that whatever caused the tragedy was not discovered by the crew till the last minute by which time there was no scope for sending out a distress call. A sudden explosion? Perhaps caused by a bomb? Human error and mechanical problem were unlikely. The pilot was well experienced. The airliner Boeing 777-200 ER has an enviable safety record.

Two passengers were travelling on stolen passports. The two passports were stolen in Bangkok, one 3 years ago and the other one in 2013. Why stolen passports? It is possible that the real identities of these two passengers were easily relatable to some (terrorist?) group.

Five Indians were among the passengers. Whereas foreign news agencies while reporting the accident invariably also mentioned the number of their respective nationals on board ( I read the reports of Australian and Canadian news agencies), the Indian news reports were silent on this crucial information. The five Indians were originally mistaken to be Indonesians. A very sad tragedy that will be discussed for a long time to come. 

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