MH370 was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China, before it mysteriously vanished on March 8, 2014. The Boeing 777 jet had 239 passengers on board when it went missing over the South China Sea. Captain Zaharie Shah last communicated with air traffic control at 1.19am during a routine handover from Malaysian to Vietnamese channels.
Analysis of radar and satellite data shows that it suddenly changed course and flew back across Malaysia before turning south of Penang and then towards the southern Indian Ocean.
However, US pilot and aviation engineer Bruce Robertson claims this was no coincidence.
He suggests the 221kgs of lithium-ion batteries in MH370’s cargo caught fire sending a cloud of deadly carbon monoxide into the cabin, forcing Mr Shah to try and save the doomed jet.
He said in 2015: “There you have it – no conspiracies, no evil intent, no fuzzy pictures.
“It was just a simple industrial accident that took a while to play out due to automation trying to save the situation.
“The wounded bird did its best to survive but it was not to be.
“Too much time and money has been wasted on a fruitless search in an area much further southwest.”
However, a report released in 2018 went out of its way to dismiss these claims.
The document, produced by The Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370, said it was ”highly improbable”.
It reads: “There were concerns that the batteries could have produced hazardous fumes or in a worst-case scenario caused a short circuit and/or fire.”
After carrying out tests, Malaysia’s Science & Technology Research Institute for Defence was “convinced that the items tested could not be the cause in the disappearance of MH370,” the report claims.
The batteries were not registered as dangerous goods as their packaging adhered to guidelines.
They went through customs inspection and clearance before the truck was sealed and left the factory, but were not given any additional security screening before loaded onto the plane.