Another Malaysia Airlines flight ‘diverted from course’ makes unscheduled Hong Kong landing
Flight MH066 suffered electrical problems and failure of primary generator
As the hunt for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 continued at an intensifying pace on Monday morning, reports emerged of another one of the airline’s planes being “diverted” from its course after departing Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH066, this time an Airbus A330 rather than a Boeing 777, left the Malaysian capital at 11.37pm on Sunday headed for Incheon airport in Seoul, South Korea.
The flight then suffered a technical fault, losing power from its primary generator. According to a spokesperson for the airline, there was no immediate impact because a back-up generator took over automatically.
The decision was nonetheless taken to divert from its course and head for Hong Kong’s international airport, where it landed safely at around 3am this morning.
Malaysia Airlines said the flight landed within 30 minutes of notifying the airport, but that while emergency services were put on standby it could not strictly be classified as an emergency landing.
All 271 passengers were transferred to other carriers, the airline said, while the return flight from Incheon to Kuala Lumpur was cancelled. Passengers have been transferred to other flights for the return leg.
The electrical failure will raise yet more safety fears over Malaysia Airlines, with the authorities coordinating the search for missing flight MH370 still unable to rule out a technical fault.
Malaysian authorities have not ruled out any possible explanation for what happened to the jet, but have said the evidence so far suggests it was deliberately turned back across Malaysia to the Strait of Malacca, with its communications systems disabled. They are unsure what happened next.
Authorities are still considering the possibilities of hijacking, sabotage, terrorism or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or someone else on board.
In the US, Tony Blinken, President Barack Obama's deputy national security adviser, said on CNN: “There is no prevailing theory.”
“Publicly or privately, we don't know,” he said. “We're chasing down every theory.”
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