Malaysia Airlines MH192: Investigation launched into ‘sabotage’ after another Malaysian jet makes emergency landing
MH192 from Kuala Lumpur turned back 15 minutes after take-off due to problems with landing gear
Police in Malaysia have been ordered to investigate the possibility of sabotage after yet another Malaysia Airlines jet was forced to make an emergency landing shortly after departing from Kuala Lumpur.
The captain of the Boeing 737-800, which was carrying 159 passengers and seven crew for what should have been a routine 90-minute flight to Bangalore, India, had to turn back after it emerged that one of the tyres on its main landing gear had burst during take-off.
Airport staff contacted the pilots of flight MH192 late last night after they found debris from the tyre scattered across the runway. It was also reported that the aircraft also had difficulties deploying the gear on its way back in.
The airline said that airport fire rescue services were deployed to the runway, but the jet was able to touch back down in Kuala Lumpur without incident around three hours after it left.
Malaysia’s acting Transport Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, who has been at the forefront of Malaysian efforts to recover the missing flight MH370, travelled to the airport and later tweeted: “They have landed safely – thank God.”
Describing the crew of MH192 as “heroes” for the way they calmly dealt with the situation, he called for an urgent inquiry to “get to the bottom of this” and said the country’s police Special Branch had already been called in.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH192 bound for Bangalore turned back towards and parked at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (AP) According to the local Star newspaper, Mr Hishammuddin said the Department of Civil Aviation and Malaysia Airlines were due to provide a preliminary report by Wednesday.
The incident comes not only after the disappearance of flight MH370 on 8 March, but also after another Malaysia Airlines plane was “diverted” from its course shortly after departing Kuala Lumpur.
Flight MH066, an Airbus A330, was forced to make an unscheduled stop at Hong Kong’s international airport after losing power from its primary generator.
Asked about the possibility of sabotage due to the recent spate of incidents involving Malaysia Airlines, the minister said: “I have already directed the police to get going immediately. Our standard operating procedure, as with MH370, has not changed but any leads that we have must be verified and corroborated.
“We are thankful that none of the passengers are hurt. I was very touched earlier when I was able to meet the passengers, as most of them were very impressed with the captain and crew,” he said.
Meanwhile, the underwater search for MH370 approached the end of its first full week without uncovering any clues that could shed light on what led the plane to veer off into the southern Indian Ocean.
The US Navy unmanned submersible vehicle Bluefin 21 has embarked on eight missions to the ocean floor, covering around two-thirds of the designated search area and at times venturing beyond its recommended safe depth of 4,500m (2.8 miles).
The Australia-based search co-ordination centre has said the sonar scan of the sea bed in that area was expected to be completed sometime this week.
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