Last updated Friday, October 31, 2014 11:51am

KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 — Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 was hijacked, a local official who is part of the investigation into its disappearance confirmed today.

But the unnamed official said it was still unknown why the Beijing-bound plane with 239 onboard was taken over after it departed Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 8.

“It is conclusive,” the official told the Associated Press when asked about a possible hijacking.

Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post today reported that the hijacker might be one of the pilots or at least someone else with flying experience.

This comes as news agency AFP quoted a senior military official saying that Malaysian officials now believe that MH370 may have been deliberately turned towards the Indian Ocean by someone with up-to-date knowledge of flying and radar positions.

A local official who is part of the investigation confirmed today that the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was hijacked. — Reuters picA local official who is part of the investigation confirmed today that the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was hijacked. — Reuters pic

Wall Street Journal (WSJ) also suggested that the technical expertise required to silence the many communications systems on MH370 may have been an inside job.

Consulting aviation experts and referring to manuals on the Boeing 777, WSJ noted that it was unlikely that a layperson would be able to the determine the specific circuit breaker needed to disable the plane’s transponders.

Putrajaya said again yesterday it has not ruled out hijacking as a possible cause behind the disappearance of MH370 as new leads suggest the plane may have been intentionally made to shift its course.

Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein refused to confirm the speculation but said Malaysian authorities are not dismissing the possibility that the Boeing 777-20ER bound for Beijing and carrying 239 people on board may have been hijacked.

In the Gallery


  • Muslims perform a special prayer for passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane at the departure hall of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport March 13, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • The Royal Malaysian Navy corvette KD Terengganu and a Sea Hawk helicopter from the USS Pinckney conduct a search for a missing MH370 in the Gulf of Thailand March 12, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A woman wearing a mask against the haze walks past a board saying ‘Pray for MH370’ in front of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A woman who cries is seen through a door of a room for relatives or friends of passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines MH370, at a hotel in Beijing, March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • College students in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, China hold placards near lit up candles as they pray for passengers of the missing MH370 plane, March 13, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • College students light up candles as they pray for passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, March 13, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Malaysia Airlines Commercial Director Hugh Dunleavy sits in front of a large projection screen at a briefing for the family members of passengers on board the missing MH370 aircraft, at a hotel in Beijing March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A woman shouts to journalists, in front of a hotel in Beijing, March 14, 2014, asking not to take pictures of families of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane MH370. — Reuters pic

  • A woman cries as she walks out of a room for relatives or friends of passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, at a hotel in Beijing, March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A family member of a passenger on board the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 reacts during a briefing from the Malaysia Airlines at a hotel in Beijing March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Family members of passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 sit on chairs as they wait for news at a hotel in Beijing March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • Philippine Navy crew members onboard the Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas Apolinario Mabini (Patrol Ship 36) scour the West Philippine Sea, as they search for the missing Malaysia Airline MH370 plane, in this picture supplied by the Philippine Navy.

  • DCA chief Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and MAS CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya at a press conference on MH370 today at KLIA in Sepang, on March 13, 2014. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

  • DCA chief Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and MAS CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya at a press conference on MH370 today at KLIA in Sepang, on March 13, 2014. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

  • A man reads a Tamil newspaper with a story about the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on its front page in Kuala Lumpur March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A 'Pray for MH370' message displayed at the digital board at the Projek Lebuhraya Utara Selatan (PLUS) expressway near the E6 link. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

  • A member of a rescue team takes part in a search and rescue operation to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, in the Straits of Malacca March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A member of a rescue team looks through binoculars during a search and rescue operation to find the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, in the Straits of Malacca March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

  • A 'Pray for MH370' projection is seen on the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) building in Kuala Lumpur March 14, 2014. — Reuters pic

Local and US sources are now also convinced the aircraft recorded by military radar flying west across peninsular Malaysia and headed for the Indian Ocean was MH370.

The latest revelations has also led search and rescue efforts to expand further, and now included the Indian Ocean where the plane would have had enough fuel to reach.