An official inquiry has started in Malaysia following the crash of a hijacked Malaysian airliner in which all 100 people on board were killed.
An official inquiry has started in Malaysia following the crash of a hijacked Malaysian airliner in which all 100 people on board were killed. While the investigators from the Department of Civil Aviation set about their task, mystery surrounded the identity of the hijackers and their purposes in seizing the Malaysian Airline System Boeing 737 shortly after it had left the holiday island of Penang on Sunday (4 December).
SYNOPSIS: Scene of the crash was the shoreline of the southern Malaysian state of Johore, near the village of Kampung Ledang. The grisly work of searching for the remains of the survivors was exhaustive. It is a slow process and no comprehensive identification list was immediately available; but among the dead were the Malaysian Agriculture Minister, Mr. Datuk Sri Ali Haji Ahmad, and the Cuban Ambassador to Malaysia, Senor Mario Gracis Inchaustedgui.
After the crash on Sunday, the first reports indicated that the terrorist group, the Japanese Red Army, had been involved. But later the Malaysian airline's deputy chairman, Mr. Datuk Sulaiman Sujak, said the pilot had told control tower only that the plane was being hijacked; he did not say by whom. According to eyewitnesses, the plane first soared into the air and then went into a sudden dive. This was followed by a loud explosion and the plane smashed into the swamps, where it burst into flames.
The plane's original route was from Penang to Kuala Lumpur and on to Singapore. The pilot's last message, after telling Kuala Lumpur he had been hijacked, was to Singapore-it was a distress call. The disaster was the worst aircrash in Malaysia's history.