The New York Times is reporting that the first clue as to the fate of Flight MH370 may have been found.
An oil slick spanning 12 miles has been spotted. The discovery of the oil slick in the waters between Vietnam and Malaysia strongly suggests that the flight may have crashed somewhere near the Gulf of Thailand.
The search continues for the Boeing 777-200, which went missing at around 1:30 pm EST.. On board the flight are a total of 239 people, which includes 12 crew members and 227 passengers.
The plane was said to be equipped with a transponder that would have allowed its position to be routinely broadcast. Fredrik Lindahl, the chief executive of Flightradar24, shared that the last known location of the airplane was approximately 93 miles northeast of Kuala Terengganu, a port in the northeastern region of the Malaysian peninsula.
The position would bring the plane about halfway through the entrance of the Gulf of Thailand. As this is not far from where the oil slick was spotted, signs are beginning to point to the worst possible outcome.
Latest update: #Vietnam forces found oil slick consistent to Jet fuel at the waters. More traces found. #MH370
— Socially_Cal (@Socially_Cal) March 8, 2014
If Vietnam AF knows how big the oil slick is then they must have also seen wreckage. Doubting this report. #MalaysiaAirlines #PrayForMH370
— Erin Boucher (@ErinShryne) March 8, 2014
@Richiemondchang there's been a widespread speculation abt tht but MAS & the Msian authorities denied them. But now they spotted oil slick
— C A L Y N E (@calyneeee) March 8, 2014
Flight MH370 had departed Kuala Lumpur at about 11:30 am EST and was scheduled to arrive in Beijing at approximately 5:30 pm EST. Chinese air traffic control officials stated that the plane never made it into Chinese airspace.
With more than half the plane’s passengers being Chinese or Tiawanese, a number of family members in China have been allowed rooms at a Beijing hotel where they are awaiting definite word as to the fate of their missing friends and family members. At least two medical personnel are reported to be on hand to monitor the condition of those at the hotel.
Uncertainty continues to surround the exact nature of the plane’s disappearance. In the time period the plane is thought to have vanished, it was in the air long enough to cross the Gulf of Thailand. It also had more than enough fuel to complete its flight.
As many wait to find out the exact fate of the Malaysian Airlines plane, there is already serious discussion as to who or what is to blame for the disconcerting nature of this situation.
Image via Wikimedia Commons