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Malaysian general says missing plane changed course

KualaLumpur - The search for a Malaysian Airlines passenger plane was extended to the Strait of Malacca Tuesday, three days after the Boeing 777 went missing, after a top military official said radar last picked up the flight far from its intended route to Beijing.

General Tan Sri Rodzali Daud, head of Malaysia’s air force, told the Malay-language Berita Harian newspaper that military radar last detected the plane near Pulau Perak, an island in the strait between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

"After that, the signal from the plane was lost," he was quoted as saying.

The general told the newspaper that the plane changed course and disappeared an hour later than what had been widely reported.

Aviation authorities had earlier said that the plane had vanished about an hour into its flight over the South China Sea between Malaysia’s east coast and the southern coast of Vietnam.

A search involving nearly 100 ships and aircraft from 10 countries has failed to turn up any signs of the jet liner in the South China Sea.

Rodzali’s account intensified the mystery of what happened to Flight MH370, which disappeared from radar early Saturday after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for the Chinese capital.

The pilots did not send any distress signals and the plane’s computer did not signal that there were any technical problems to ground control.

DPA


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