malaysia candles
College students light candles as they pray for passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, China Reuters

The missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was equipped with four life rafts, enough to carry up to 290 people, and had sufficient stocks of food that would enable those on board the aircraft to survive for a week, said a representative of the airline.

Speaking at a meeting with relatives of the passengers aboard the aircraft, the airlines' spokesperson assured the Boeing 777 jetliner had flashlights to attract attention.

The jet was also equipped with first-aid kits as well as drinking water, the airlines said, reports the Chinese news outlet ECNS.

Amid conflicting reports over the exact path taken by the aircraft, the possibility of hijack has also not been ruled out by Malaysian authorities.

At his latest press conference, as the search for the missing jet enters the seventh day, Malaysia's defence and acting transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein insisted hijack remains one of the active angles in the probe.

He added that the search area has been widened up to the Andaman Sea as well the Indian Ocean, the opposite direction of the flight's original route.

Here is the latest press statement issued by Hussein on 14 March.

Before I take questions today, I will give a short statement. We are now entering the seventh day of the search for MH370. There are currently 57 ships and 48 aircraft in the search. Thirteen countries are now involved.

Our priority remains finding the plane. We are following all leads, and we continue to work closely with our international partners. We are grateful for the support of our friends and neighbours, who continue to assist us by sharing their data and their resources as we search for MH370. I speak for the Malaysian people when I say that our hearts are with the families and the friends of those on board the plane.

New information

There has been a lot of media speculation today after comments from unnamed US officials suggested the plane may have travelled for some time after losing contact.
As is standard procedure, the investigation team will not publicly release information until it has been properly verified and corroborated with the relevant authorities. Nor do we want to be drawn into specific remarks that unnamed officials have reportedly made the media.

Since Sunday, we have worked closely with our international partners, including the US team, whose officials have been here on the ground in Kuala Lumpur.

Since Wednesday, the Malaysian investigating team have shared more detailed information, as it became available, for verification. The international team are currently working on verifying that detailed information, but we have nothing to confirm at the moment.

Widening investigation

The aircraft is still missing, and the search area is expanding. Two days ago, the search area was widened to include the Andaman Sea.

Together with our international partners, we are now pushing further east into the South China Sea, and further into the Indian Ocean.

We want nothing more than to find the plane as quickly as possible. But the circumstances have forced us to widen our search.

A normal investigation becomes narrower with time, as new information focuses the search. But this is not a normal investigation. In this case, the information we have forces us to look further and further afield.

Engine data

Yesterday, we rejected a media report in which unnamed officials said that engine data showed the plane had kept flying for hours after last contact. We checked with Boeing and Rolls Royce, who said the reports were not true. Today Rolls Royce released a statement saying, and I quote, 'Rolls Royce continues to provide its full support to the authorities and Malaysia Airlines. Rolls Royce concurs with the statement made on Thursday 13th March by Malaysia's Transport Minister regarding engine health monitoring data received from the aircraft'.

Oil slick

Yesterday authorities sighted two oil slicks in the South China Sea, 60 nautical miles south of the last point of contact with MH370.

The first slick was investigated and analysed and found to contain tiny traces of jet fuel. No debris was found in the vicinity. We do not believe the slick is linked to MH370.
Samples from the second slick were investigated and analysed and did not contain jet fuel.

Concluding remarks

The investigation team is following all leads that could help locate the missing aircraft. When we receive new information, and it has been verified, we act accordingly. Wherever there is a possibility, we have a duty to investigate it.

From the beginning of the crisis, we have worked hand-in-hand with all the relevant authorities, including international agencies, experts, and the aircraft manufacturers.

We have daily technical meetings with all the key players. We have followed the protocols set out by the International Civil Aviation Authority. We have been in regular contact with our neighbouring countries. And we have welcomed all international offers of assistance. We are committed to one aim: finding MH370.