The international investigation into the mysterious disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members has so far yielded more questions than answers.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, vanished from radar screens about an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early on Saturday.
The aircraft was flying in good weather conditions and disappeared without a distress call – unusual circumstances for a modern jetliner.
If it is confirmed that the plane has crashed, it would be the second fatal accident involving a Boeing 777 in less than a year and by far the worst in terms of causalities since the jet entered service in 1995.
However, the mystery of the missing jetliner has deepened over the past 24 hours after two passengers were found to have boarded the plane using stolen passports, giving rise to speculation that the disappearance of the flight could be linked to foul play.
Authorities say they are investigating all possible causes, with utmost priority, however, placed on locating the plane.
Click ahead to view the latest images of the multi-country search-and-rescue operation to locate the missing plane.
Posted 10 March 2014
Chinese officials arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Monday evening to assist in the search. The country has also announced that it had dispatched more ships to the search area, as well as redeployed its space satellites to assist.
In a press conference on Monday, Malaysian authorities said the search area for the missing MH370 aircraft would be expanded to 100 nautical miles around where it was last sighted. This came after several leads from the original 50 miles-radius search perimeter proved to be erroneous.
The Vietnamese Air Force searching for the missing aircraft spots oil spills on the surface of the water off the southern seas of Vietnam on March 9. However, the Malaysian authorities later said tests came back negative and that the oil originated from a ship.
Vietnamese searchers also spotted debris 50 miles southwest of Tho Chu island located in the Gulf of Thailand, which are believed to be a piece of the plane's door and tail, the Wall Street Journal reported late Sunday. However, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, the director-general of Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation, said on Monday that Vietnamese authorities had not confirmed the sighting.
A senior source involved in the preliminary investigation in Malaysia told Reuters that the theory of a mid-air explosion had been discarded after the U.S. had reviewed imagery from the "thorough" coverage of its spy satellites and had not seen proof of one.
The U.S., which had three citizens including one infant on board the MH370 flight, is one of the fourteen nations involved in the search.
Vietnam fueled speculation for a possible breakthrough when it announced it had sent helicopters to investigate a floating yellow object, thought to be a life raft.
But the country's Civil Aviation Authority later dashed hopes of a breakthrough, saying on its website that the object turned out to be a "moss-covered cap of cable reel."
Military personnel aboard a Vietnamese Air Force aircraft take part in a search mission scanning the sea between Malaysia's east coast and southern Vietnam.
The search mission has become an international effort with at least 34 aircraft and 40 ships deployed in the search.
Countries assisting in the search include Vietnam, China, Singapore, the United States, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Australia.
Buddhist monks offered special prayers for passengers aboard the missing flight at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang.
Relatives of passengers in Beijing apply for their Chinese passports to be ready to travel to the crash site.
Malaysia Airlines is working closely with the government of China to expedite the issuance of passports for the families as well as with the immigration of Malaysia for their visas, the airline said in a press release.
The airline added their primary focus is to care for the families, providing them initial financial assistance, travel facilities, accommodation, meals, medical and emotional support.
The parents of Firman Chandra Siregar, a 24 year-old Indonesian passenger on the flight, wait in anguish for the latest news about the fate of the aircraft. Many families are confounded by how little is known about the disappearance of the flight.
China-based relatives of a passenger gather at Beijing's Lido Hotel, located a short drive from the airport, where the airline has supplied rooms in the country's capital.
Malaysia Airlines holds a press conference in Beijing to address mounting questions around what caused the disappearance of the jetliner.
The airline has held several press conferences over the past 48 hours to update the public with the latest findings in the search and rescue mission.
Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, chief executive officer of Malaysia Airlines, second right, at a news conference in Sepang, Malaysia.
Yahya was appointed as CEO less than three years ago to revive the carrier's fortunes.
Malaysia Airlines has struggled to remain profitable recently, posting its fourth straight quarterly loss in the three months ending in December. It said the losses were driven by a weaker ringgit, unrealized foreign exchange losses and higher operating costs.
Despite recent deterioration in its financial position, the airline has established a record as one of the Asia-Pacific's best full-service carriers in terms of safety and service over the years.
The last fatal incident involving a Malaysia Airlines aircraft took place on September 15, 1995, when 34 people died after a Fokker 50 crashed on approach to Tawau, a town in the Eastern Malaysian state of Sabah.