Tuesday, 11 March 2014
The ‘unprecedented mystery’ behind the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370 deepened on Monday when relatives claimed they were able to call the cellphones of their missing loved ones.
According to the Washington Post, family of some of the 239 people on board the vanished Boeing 777 said that they were getting ring tones and could see them as online through a Chinese social networking service called QQ.
One man said that the QQ account of his brother-in-law showed him as active, but frustratingly for those waiting desperately for any news, messages sent have gone unanswered and the calls have not been picked up.
Indeed, the phantom phone calls and online presence set off a whole new level of hysteria for relatives who have spent the past three-days cooped-up in a Beijing hotel waiting for some concrete information on the missing plane.
Repeatedly telling Malaysian Airlines officials about the QQ accounts and ringing telephone calls, they hoped that modern technology could simply triangulate the GPS signal of the phones and locate their relatives.
So far their pleas seem to have fallen on death ears.
However, according to Singapore’s Strait Times, a Malaysia Airlines official, Hugh Dunleavy has confirmed to families that his company had tried to call the cellphones of crew members and they too had also rang out.
He is reported to have told relatives that those phone numbers have been turned over to Chinese authorities.
One man who had asked police to come to his house and see the active QQ account on his computer was devastated to see that by Monday afternoon it had switched to inactive.
This deepening of the already baffling mystery into the disappearance of Flight MH370 comes as it was claimed that the two passengers traveling on stolen passports on the plane were Iranian nationals.
A friend of one of the two men told BBC Persia that he played host to the pair in Kuala Lumpur after their arrival from Tehran before they took off on the fateful journey.
The source told the BBC service that the pair had bought the fake passports because they wanted to go and live in Europe.
The two men were using the passports of Christian Kozel – a 30-year-old Austrian and Luigi Maraldi, a 37-year-old Italian.
The friend, who knew one of the men from school said that both purchased the illegal and fake passports in Malaysia and one-way tickets to Amsterdam.