Malaysian authorities tonight said the last words spoken by one of the pilots of the missing plane were "Goodnight Malaysian three seven zero", changing the previous account of the last message as a casual "All right, good night."
"We would like to confirm that the last conversation in the transcript between the air traffic controller and the cockpit is at 01:19 (Malaysian Time on March 8) and is "Good night Malaysian three seven zero," the Transport Ministry said in a statement here.
The statement came after acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein was questioned at a news conference today over the last words from the cockpit and fended off demands to release the official transcript. The Beijing-bound Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 - carrying 239 people, including five Indians, an Indo-Canadian and 154 Chinese nationals - had mysteriously vanished on March 8 after taking off from Kuala Lumpur.
Today's statement said the Minister had instructed the investigating team to release the full transcript of the conversation to the next of kin during the next briefing session. "The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) would like to refer to questions raised during the press conference by the acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein this evening with regards to the last communications between the cockpit and the air traffic controller.
"The authorities are still doing forensic investigation to determine whether those last words from the cockpit were by the pilot or the co-pilot," the statement said.
Earlier reports stated that the last words from the cockpit was a casual "All right, goodnight" which came two minutes before the plane's transponder was shut down.
Malaysia Airlines had said the voice was believed to be that of co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid.