Malaysian air force chief denies report of missing jet being detected over Malacca Straits

Kuala Lumpur –  Malaysia’s air force chief Wednesday denied a local media report that quoted him as saying that the missing Malaysian plane was last detected by the air force’s air control tower in the vicinity of Pulau Perak in the Straits of Malacca.

General Rodzali Daud said in a statement that he “did not make any such statements” as published by Malaysian newspaper Berita Harian on Tuesday.

But he confirmed his statement made at a previous press conference that the air force has not ruled out the possibility of an air turn-back on a reciprocal heading before the aircraft vanished from the radar.

“This resulted in the search and rescue operations being widened to the vicinity of the waters of Pulau Pinang (off the west coast of Malaysia),” said the statement.

The location cited by the local newspapers would have indicated that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 had banked far to the west of its intended flight path over the South China Sea.

A massive hunt for the aircraft, a Boeing 777-200ER with 239 on board, initially focused only on waters between Malaysia and Vietnam, but has been expanded to Malaysia’s west coast.

The flight disappeared early Saturday on its way to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. No trace of the plane has been found so far.  Source: Xinhua