More than five years after Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 mysteriously disappeared after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing, an independent group which has worked on the case has claimed that the pilot “deliberately depressurised the cabin” in order to “slowly kill everyone on board”.
“Troubled and lonely” captain Zaharie Ahmed Shah then crashed the plane into the Indian Ocean, killing all 239 people, The Atlantic reported quoting the group.
The group included dedicated aviation experts, whose sole mission is to find out what happened to the doomed flight.
"An intentional depressurisation would have been an obvious way - and probably the only way - to subdue a potentially unruly cabin in an airplane that was going to remain in flight for hours to come," said aviation expert William Langewiesche.
"In the cabin, the effect would have gone unnoticed but for the sudden appearance of the drop-down oxygen masks and perhaps the cabin crew's use of the few portable units of similar design.
"None of those cabin masks was intended for more than about 15 minutes of use during emergency descents to altitudes below 13,000 feet; they would have been of no value at all cruising at 40,000 feet.
"The cabin occupants would have become incapacitated within a couple of minutes, lost consciousness, and gently died without any choking or gasping for air."
They claim Shah deliberately steered the Boeing 777 off course, before either waiting for the jet to run out of fuel or deliberately nose-diving it into the water so it disintegrated on impact.
The Malaysia Airlines jet vanished in March 2014 with 239 people -- mostly from China -- on board, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
No sign of it was found in a 120,000-square kilometre (46,000-square mile) Indian Ocean search zone and the Australian-led hunt, the largest in aviation history, was suspended in January 2017.
US exploration firm Ocean Infinity mounted a fresh hunt on a "no find, no fee basis" last year for several months, using hi-tech drones to scour the seabed, but did not locate the plane.
Only a few fragments of MH370 have been found, all of them on western Indian Ocean shores.
There is no new search planned, but Transport Minister Anthony Loke said at the event that the government was open to hearing proposals to resume the hunt.