A team of experts from seven countries that investigated the disappearance of Malaysian airlines flight MH370 has said that the Malaysian air traffic control supervisor was 'asleep' for four hours after the flight disappeared, indicating a callous approach.
The team released its report, based on transcripts of conversations between civilian, military and airline personnel after the flight disappeared.
The report says that at 5.20 am Malaysian time, a Malaysian Airlines staffer asked the air traffic controller at Kuala Lumpur airport whether it has handed over the flight's control to its Vietnamese counterpart. The controller expressed ignorance, saying he had taken charge only at 3 am (Malaysian time). The plane had ceased to communicate at 1.20 am.
When the Airlines stafffer insisted for information, the controller said: "Aaaa ... never mind, laa. I wake up my supervisor and ask him to check again, to go to the room and check what the last contact ... all this thing, laa."
"Laa" is a slang expressing used in many Asian countries to complement a sentence or to signify respect or politeness.
The search for the ill-fated plane began at 11.30 am Malaysian time, 10 hours after its disappearance.
The Malaysian government agreed to investigate into the "botched response" after the release of the report on Sunday, reports Sydney Morning Herald.
Another instance of confusion between the air traffic controllers between Malaysia and Vietnam has also been highlighted in the report.
Traffic controllers in Ho Chi Minh took 20 minutes to ask why the plane had not entered its airspace, in violation of international protocols that say the same should have been done in two minutes, the report has noted.
Also, at one point during the initial hours after the disappearance, Malaysia Airlines insisted the plane was flying over Cambodia, contrary to data that suggested the plane, on auto-pilot mode, was flying thousands of kilometres away in southern Indian Ocean.