18 March 2014
Farah Ahmed and Ahmed Naif, Haveeru Online
Residents of the remote Maldives island of Kuda Huvadhoo in Dhaal Atoll have reported seeing a “low flying jumbo jet” on the morning of the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
Whilst the disappearance of the Boeing 777 jet, carrying 239 passengers has left the whole world in bewilderment, several residents of Kuda Huvadhoo told Haveeru on Tuesday that they saw a “low flying jumbo jet” at around 6:15am on March 8.
They said that it was a white aircraft, with red stripes across it – which is what the Malaysia Airlines flights typically look like.
Eyewitnesses from the Kuda Huvadhoo concurred that the aeroplane was travelling North to South-East, towards the Southern tip of the Maldives – Addu. They also noted the incredibly loud noise that the flight made when it flew over the island.
“I’ve never seen a jet flying so low over our island before. We’ve seen seaplanes, but I’m sure that this was not one of those. I could even make out the doors on the plane clearly,” said an eyewitness.
“It’s not just me either, several other residents have reported seeing the exact same thing. Some people got out of their houses to see what was causing the tremendous noise too.”
Mohamed Zaheem, the Island Councilor of Kuda Huvadhoo, said that the residents of the island had spoken about the incident.
A local aviation expert told Haveeru that it is “likely” for MH370 to have flown over the Maldives. The possibility of any aircraft flying over the island at the reported time is extremely low, the expert added.
The Malaysia airlines jet disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing. Investigators say it was deliberately diverted off course.
Twenty-six countries are now helping to hunt for the plane after satellite and military radar data projected two huge corridors through which it might have flown.
Satellite data suggests that the last “ping” was recieved from the flight somwhere close to the Maldives and the US naval base on Diego Garcia.
But the Maldives is not amongst the countries that Malaysian authorities had sought help from in its search for the missing jet. Malaysia has listed the countries that it had appealed for assistance: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, China, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia and France.