Malaysia Airlines MH370 has not landed in Diego Garcia: US rubbishes allegations

Written by PTI | Kuala Lumpur | Updated: Apr 16 2014, 02:35am hrs
The US has refuted as "baseless" claims that the missing Malaysian jet landed in its Diego Garcia military base, saying there was no cover-up in the mystery behind the jet's disappearance.

As discussions, including on social media, on the purported role of the US behind the Boeing 777-200 jetliner going missing continue to swirl, Washington, through its embassy here, said that they were all "baseless conspiracy theories".

The US Embassy here, in an email to the New Straits Times, said claims that MH370 was hidden somewhere in its island military base, Diego Garcia, were also wild allegations.

"This is a baseless conspiracy theory that has already been debunked around the world, and the White House Press Secretary specifically addressed this on March 18," said the embassy's press attache Harvey Sernovitz.

A popular theory was that American Philip Woods, who was on board the plane, had posted a picture of his whereabouts from his phone, the location of which was later purportedly traced to Diego Garcia military base in the Indian Ocean.

Washington also addressed allegations that logs at Diego Garcia from March 8 to 10, had been wiped clean.

"These reports are completely false. MH370 did not land in Diego Garcia. This is a baseless conspiracy theory."

Flight MH370 went missing on March 8 with 239 people on board. It was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it lost contact with air traffic controllers over the South China Sea.

Malaysia believes the flight was deliberately diverted by someone on board and that satellite data indicates it crashed in the Indian Ocean, west of the Australian city of Perth.

Sernovitz said his government also denied that they had withheld information from Malaysia that could help with investigations.

The US, he said, was in fact among the first to respond to the Malaysia-led search and rescue mission.

"This is another conspiracy theory, also untrue," the paper quoted the US Embassy e-mail as saying.

"In the meantime, we continue to provide all relevant technical, investigative and search and recovery support as requested by the government of Malaysia. We will continue to share information and analyses about MH370," it said.

Commenting on allegations against Malaysia that it had been holding back information, he said, "This is a difficult search and investigation from a technical perspective and, in many ways, is a one-of-a-kind event in aviation history.

"Our focus has always been to work with the Malaysian government to locate the aircraft and provide technical and investigative assistance as requested by the Malaysian government.

"Under the coordinating efforts of Malaysia and Australia, the US Navy's 7th Fleet is working alongside 26 other nations to locate the aircraft based on areas identified by Malaysian and international experts."