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Fisherman Living near MH 370's Flight Path Says He Saw It on Night of Its Disappearance

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Published on Mar 10, 2014

A Malaysian fisherman living near the flight path of missing Malaysia Airlines says he saw a plane flying overhead in the early hours of Saturday, while there are still no signs of the aircraft after two days of search operations.

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A fisherman in Kota Bharu told Malaysian media he may have seen the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, before it disappeared early on Saturday (March 8).

"I only heard about the plane yesterday. My friend, Pak Da asked me where the plane was heading to at this time of night," fisherman Azid Ibrahim said, adding it was flying lower than usual.

He went to police on Sunday (March 9) afternoon to report what he saw, local broadcaster RTM said.

"I gave information of the direction of that plane, hopefully it could help make it easier for the plane to be found," Azid said.

Flight MH370 last had contact with air traffic controllers 120 nautical miles off the east coast of the Malaysian town of Kota Bharu, about an hour into its flight.

Flight tracking website flightaware.com showed it flew northeast after takeoff, climbed to 35,000 feet and was still climbing when it vanished from tracking records.

Its disappearance is an "unprecedented aviation mystery", a senior Malaysian official said on Monday (March 10), with a massive air and sea search now in its third day failing to find any confirmed trace of the plane or the 239 people aboard.

As dozens of ships and aircraft from seven countries scour the seas around Malaysia and south of Vietnam, questions mounted over possible security lapses and whether a bomb or hijacking attempt could have brought down the Boeing 777-200ER airliner.

Hopes for a breakthrough rose briefly when Vietnam scrambled helicopters to investigate a floating yellow object it was thought could have been a life raft. But the country's Civil Aviation Authority said on its website that the object turned out to be a "moss-covered cap of a cable reel".

No distress signal was sent from the lost plane, which experts said suggested a sudden catastrophic failure or explosion, but Malaysia's air force chief Rodzali Daud said radar tracking showed it may have turned back from its scheduled route before it disappeared.

A senior source involved in preliminary investigations in Malaysia said the failure to quickly find any debris indicated the plane may have broken up mid-flight, which could disperse wreckage over a very wide area.

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