Day 11: Why didn’t passengers use phones, NY Times asks

A relative shows the media a screen of his mobile phone while calling a mobile phone number of a Chinese passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 during a demonstration at a hotel ballroom in Beijing, China, Monday, March 17, 2014. The relative claims that the dialing tone kept ringing, hut failed to connect, indicating that the mobile phone was switched on. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

A relative shows the media a screen of his mobile phone while calling a mobile phone number of a Chinese passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 during a demonstration at a hotel ballroom in Beijing, China, Monday, March 17, 2014. The relative claims that the dialing tone kept ringing, hut failed to connect, indicating that the mobile phone was switched on. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

The New York Times addresses an issue that has occurred to many Americans who lived through Sept. 11, 2001: Why didn’t the passengers use phones to contact relatives or others?

SEPANG, Malaysia — When hijackers took control of four airplanes on Sept. 11, 2001, and sent them hurtling low across the countryside toward New York and Washington, frantic passengers and flight attendants turned on cellphones and air phones and began making calls to loved ones, airline managers and the authorities.

But when Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 did a wide U-turn in the middle of the night over the Gulf of Thailand and then spent nearly half an hour swooping over two large Malaysian cities and various towns and villages, there was apparently silence. As far as investigators have been able to determine, there have been no phone calls, Twitter or Weibo postings, Instagram photos or any other communication from anyone aboard the aircraft since it was diverted.

Read the entire report

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