SEPANG, March 11 — Malaysian police refuted reports today that there were five individuals who had checked into MH370 but did not board the plane, appearing to suggest inconsistencies in information disseminated by investigators to the media.
Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters that every single passenger who booked a spot on the Boeing B777-200 aircraft had boarded the flight.
“There was no five passengers who checked in and did not board. Everybody who booked this flight boarded,” he said at a press conference at the Sama-Sama Hotel here.
According to previous reports, the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) had confirmed with the media that five people had checked into the flight but did not get on board.
DCA director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman reportedly said yesterday that the baggage of the five had been removed from the aircraft, which he said had passed standard checks at the check-in counter.
“We removed their baggage. Every piece of baggage was recorded and given a unique serial number so that the correct baggage was removed from the aircraft,” he was quoted as saying by national news agency Bernama.
Asked about the apparent contradiction, Khalid stood by his statement.
“Take it from me there were no such passenger... nobody booked tickets and didn’t board,” he repeated.
He added that the only passenger booked on MH370 but did not make the flight was “a female student”, referring to Jessica Yee Wai Ching, a MBA candidate at the Tsinghua University, in Beijing.
“The female student called Malaysia Airlines to cancel the ticket because she mistook the time of departure,” said Khalid.
Flight MH370 has been missing for nearly four days now since its departure from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 12.41am on Saturday.
The Beijing-bound aircraft was carrying 239 people onboard, including 12 crew members and two infants.