US official: MH370’s co-pilot had cell phone turned on


COCKPIT.>>SOURCES TELL CNN THAT FARIQ AB HAMID’S PHONE WAS ON. INFORMATION CNN HAS LEARNED THAT MALAYSIAN AUTHORITIES GAVE TO THE U.S. A WHILE AGO. >>IT WOULD BE VERY RARE, IN MY OPINION, TO HAVE SOMEONE WITH A CELL PHONE ON IN THE COCKPIT. IT’S NEVER SUPPOSED TO BE ON AT ALL. IT’S PART OF EVERY CHECK LIST THAT I’M FAMILIAR WITH. >>Reporter: SOURCES SAY THAT MALAYSIAN AUTHORITIES TOLD THE U.S. THAT A CELL TOWER IN PENANG, MALAYSIA, ROUGHLY 200 MILES FROM WHERE THE PLANE TURNED AROUND, PICKED UP A PING FROM FARIQ’S CELL PHONE. HE COULD HAVE TRIED TO DO SOMETHING WITH THE PHONE. WE DON’T KNOW.>>THE INTERESTING THING ABOUT THAT IS NO OTHER PHONE WAS CONNECTED TO IT. IT’S JUST SPECIFICALLY HIS CELL PHONE. >>THERE’S NO EVIDENCE THAT THE FIRST OFFICER TRIED TO MAKE A CALL WITH A PHONE. ON SUNDAY, MALAYSIA’S TRANSPORT MINISTER DID NOT DENY THE POSSIBILITY.>>AS FAR AS I KNOW, LIKE I SAID, THAT WOULD BE IN THE REALM OF THE SPLITS AND WHEN THE TIME COMES, THAT WOULD BE REVEALED. I DON’T WANT TO SPECULATE AT THE MOMENT. >>Reporter: WHEN THE PLANE FIRST WENT MISSING, AUTHORITIES SAID MILLIONS OF CELL PHONE RECORDS WERE SEARCHED, LOOKING FOR EVIDENCE THAT CALLS HAD BEEN MADE FROM THE PLANE, BUT TURNED UP NOTHING. STILL, IT ONLY ADDS TO THE EVIDENCE THAT THE PLANE TURNED WESTWARD FROM ITS PLANNED PADDLE AND THAT THE PLANE WAS LIKELY FALLING LOW ENOUGH FOR A CELL TOWER TO PICK UP THE SIGNAL. >>IT DOES MAKE THEY THINK THAT IT WAS PERHAPS LOWER THAN THE 35,000 FEET SPECULATED BECAUSE IT DID MAKE A CONNECTION. TYPICALLY THERE’S NOT EVEN TIME TO DO THAT. BU

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