Report: Malaysia jet flew 4 hours after vanishing; officials say no

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Malaysian Muslims read the Koran during a special prayer for passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang on March 13, 2014. Malaysia said on March 13 that satellite images of suspected debris from a missing jet were yet another false lead, and debunked a report the plane had flown on for hours after losing contact -- leaving the nearly week-old mystery no closer to being solved.AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)


by NBC News

Posted on March 13, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Updated Thursday, Mar 13 at 12:46 PM

Officials were no closer to solving the mystery of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 Thursday as they denied a report that data has emerged showing that the plane was still flying four hours after leaving radar screens.

Malaysia's transport minister dismissed a report in the Wall Street Journal that the aircraft’s engines had continued to transmit data long after the plane’s last confirmed position.

At a news conference that once again provided more questions than answers, Hishammuddin Hussein said: "As far as both Rolls-Royce and Boeing are concerned, those reports are inaccurate."

However, asked if it were possible that the plane kept flying for several hours, he said, "of course, this is why we have extended the search."

The WSJ report came a day after former NTSB crash investigator Greg Feith told NBC News that mounting evidence pointed to a deliberate act, and that the hunt for the plane was likely to turn into a criminal inquiry.

Hussein said the “unprecedented” sea search would continue into its sixth day, adding that there had been no sign of debris in the area where China’s satellites had spotted wreckage, adding that the images were released by China by "mistake."

"The plane vanished. We owe it to he families to continue searching. We will not give up."

A police official at Thursday's news conference denied reports that the pilots’ homes had been searched.

The airline’s chief executive, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, said the last data transmission from the aircraft to Boeing and engine maker Rolls Royce had been at 1.07 a.m. on Saturday (12.07 p.m. Friday ET).

The last confirmed radar position of the plane, heading towards China over the South China Sea, was at 1.27 a.m. on Saturday (12.27 p.m. Friday ET).

The multi-national search team is combing two bodies of water either side of Malaysia, covering 27,000 square nautical miles - an area the size of the Caribbean.