A group of Indonesian fisherman led by Rusli Kusmin made a shocking statement on Wednesday at a press conference in Subang Jaya, Malaysia — they claimed to have witnessed the crash of MH370 and even recorded the GPS coordinates of the crash site. Rusli Kusmin and three of his teammates saw the plane engulfed in thick black smoke and going down like a “kite”, leaning from left to right.
Mr Khusmin says the aircraft went down in the Strait of Malacca – a narrow shipping lane, west of Kuala Lumpur, where Malaysia Airlines lost contact with MH370 close to Phuket island, Thailand.
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The fisherman, who held up a map to show reporters where he claims the plane entered the water, described seeing the aircraft falling without a sound.
In a news conference in Subang Jaya, Malaysia, he said: “I saw the plane moving from left to right like a broken kite.
“There was no noise, just black smoke as a result of fires before it crashed into the water.”
He added that there was a strong smell of acidic fumes in the air before the plane smashed into the sea.
The 42-year-old did not explain why he had waited nearly five years to report his story to authorities.
Mr Khusmin even swore on oath on the Koran before handing over his evidence to CASSA, a Malaysian NGO.
The data will now be sent to the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
The Malaysian government officially halted their investigation last year after they admitted in a report that they did not know what had happened to the plane.
The plane’s engines were apparently not working, as none of the fishermen heard any noise or explosions as the plane was descending. According to them, it crashed at around 7.30am local time in the Strait of Malacca, which separates the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra, 2 kilometres away from the location where Rusli Kusmin and his team were fishing.
They rushed to the approximate crash site, but when they reached it, the plane had already sunk, without leaving any debris or bodies on the surface of the water. The fishermen still decided to record the GPS coordinates of the location on their on-board computer. The head of the team, Rusli Kusmin, swore on the Quran that his story was true in order to prove that he was serious about his statements.
Rusli Kusmin later passed on the information of having witnessed a crash to Malaysian and Indonesian authorities, but failed to name specific officials with whom he had spoken. However, soon after this he was contacted by multiple plane hunters who were seeking to gain valuable information, so he decided to avoid further contact with authorities on the matter.
He was recently persuaded to change his decision by Jacob George, the president of the Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam, who claims to have known the MH370’s pilot and was seeking to clear his name of rumours that he had committed suicide by crashing the plane. George urged Malaysian authorities to renew their search for the crashed plane using the coordinates provided by the fishermen.
The Malaysia Airlines flight went missing in March 2014, but various investigation teams and volunteers have so far failed to find the plane and determine the cause of the crash, leaving plenty of room for speculation and theories regarding what happened.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, with 239 passengers and crew on board, disappeared on 8 March, 2014 on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, while flying from Malaysian to Vietnamese air space. After four years of unsuccessful attempts to locate the plane, the Malaysian government abandoned its search in May 2018, admitting that they did not know what happened to the plane.