Malaysian government denies missing plane could have flown for hours after going off radarUpdated: 2014-03-14 PM 10:00:39 (KST)
The Malaysian government has denied claims that a missing Malaysia Airlines plane could have flown for hours after it lost contact with air traffic controllers, following reports that emerged Thursday.
"As far as Rolls-Royce and Boeing are concerned, those reports are inaccurate."
Investigators said that the plane may have flown for about four hours after it disappeared from radar, because a satellite picked up faint electronic pings from the aircraft after it went missing.
There were reportedly about five to six pings detected, with the pings detected every hour.
Still, officials say it is hard to know where the jet was headed and where it was before it went down.
In a related development, there is also a new claim that the plane's communications systems were shut down systematically.
Two U.S. officials told ABC News that the plane's two communications systems -- the data reporting system and the transponder -- were shut down at different times, indicating a third party may have intervened to shut them down.
With the jetliner gone missing for seven days, U.S. officials are now widening their search for the aircraft to the Indian Ocean, and are considering the possibility that the plane flew west after takeoff.
Indian defense officials have decided to deploy ships, aircraft and helicopters to the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea to search for debris.
The Korean government will also send 39 people and two military aircraft to Malaysia on Saturday to assist with the search.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur on Saturday but vanished from radar en route to Beijing.
Connie Kim, Arirang News.
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