Mar. 16 - Malaysian police are investigating the personal, political and religious backgrounds of the pilots and crew of a missing jetliner. Sarah Toms reports.
It's been more than one week since a Malaysia airliner jet went missing and still the authorities are no closer to understanding why the aircraft flew hundreds of miles off course. The search is now scouring a vast area - from central Asia to the southern Indian Ocean.... The shift comes after tracking data revealed that flight 370 was diverted by someone who knew how to switch off its communication system. Malaysia has contacted countries including the US, China and France for further satellite data. No trace has been found of the Beijing-bound plane since it went missing last Saturday about an hour after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MALAYSIA DEFENCE MINISTER AND ACTING TRANSPORT MINISTER, HISHAMMUDDIN BIN TUN HUSSEIN, SAYING: "The search area has been significantly expended and the nature of the search has changed, from focusing mainly on shallow seas we are now looking at large tracks of land crossing eleven countries as well as deep and remote oceans. The number of countries involved in the search and rescue operation has increased from 14 to 25 which brings new challenges of coordination and diplomacy." Homes of the pilots have already been investigated. Authorities are collecting information on the rest of the crew and passengers. For the families and loved ones of the 239 people aboard, tensions boiled over Sunday in the Chinese capital. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) UNIDENTIFIED FAMILY MEMBER OF PASSENGER ABOARD MISSING PLANE SAYING: "When we have definite information or once we have seen our family members' faces, then will we go home together. If... (LONG PAUSE) ... if the Malaysian government or the staff of Malaysian Airlines provokes our anger, pushes our psychological limits any more, they will be responsible for the consequences." Nine days after the plane went missing, patience is running thin....but for some there is now a glimmer of hope that their loved ones are still alive.