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Flight MH370 vanished in less than one hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur on the morning of March 8 2014. It never reached its destination, Beijing nor did it leave behind any trace of its whereabouts.

A mysterious event of March 2014 that highlighted all TV channels and newspapers is the abrupt disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Who knew then that the news would continue to make headlines even today?

On the morning of March 8, around its local time 12.40 am, Malaysia Airlines Flight departed from Kuala Lumpur and headed towards its destination, Beijing. It had 227 passengers from 14 nations and 12 crew members on board. In less than an hour after its take off, around 01.20 local time, the plane dropped off the radar and lost contact with the air traffic control. The last known location of the aircraft was reported to be at the IGARI waypoint in the Gulf of Thailand.

Surprisingly there was no distress signal, no technical default nor any sign of bad weather condition before the disappearance of the aircraft from the radar screens. A massive search operation ensued, today deemed as the largest in history. The search was initially conducted in the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand and then extended to the Strait of Malacca. Presumed to have been last hovering over one of these regions, over 34 aircraft and 40 ships from nine different countries were dispatched to scan the area, but there was no trace of the aircraft. Some objects and oil slicks were spotted in the waters of South Vietnam Sea, but that did not yield any result.

Several theories, clues, and assumptions started cropping up ever since. Authorities delved into the possibilities of hijacking and terrorism when it was discovered that two passengers were traveling on fake passports. However, that possibility was also ruled out when no further evidence could be gathered. Other leading theories which surfaced were: pilot suicide, sudden fire, and sudden technical malfunctioning.

The military radar came up with a possible assumption that the flight may have changed course. The search was then shifted towards Andaman Sea, on March 12, after authority claimed that it might have turned back towards it. Further probe into the fragmented pieces of evidence led to the indication that the plane has gone down into the Indian Ocean. The search widened when a satellite photographed large junk of debris. International help was sought. Various satellites images emerged, some showing 122 objects and the other showing 300 objects floating in the southern Indian Ocean. After extensive search, they only turned out to be marine trashes.

On April 2, Royal Navy Survey submarine HMS Tireless and vessel HMS Echo reached and immediately began their search operation. On April 4, ADV (Australian Defence Vessel) Ocean Shield that comes with a towed pinger locator joined the mission. Ocean Shield identified several signals on April 6 and 8. These signals were said to be in accordance with the specifications received from a flight details recorder ULB. On April 14, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, Bluefin-21 was deployed for an extensive sea-bed search. The battery of the 'black box' was said to be no longer active and may have died down.

Nevertheless, the search is still on. Authorities have vowed to do everything in their power and to continue with the search operation till the missing MH370 is discovered.

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References: Wikipedia, CNN, BBC

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