A Malaysia Airlines plane. Photo: iStock.

An Indonesian fisherman claims that he saw the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 airliner crash into the waters between Malaysia and Indonesia five years ago. Three others were also eyewitnesses.

Rusli Kusmin said the plane descended over the Malacca Strait at about 7.30am on March 8, 2014, as if it were about to land, Free Malaysia Today reported. His vessel was about 2km away when it hit the water.

“The plane came from the north, moving toward the south,” he said at a press conference organised by the Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam (Cassa). “There was no explosion, nor were there any loud engine noises. As it landed, there was thick black smoke all around with the smell of acid in the air. It resembled a kite, leaning from left to right,” said Rusli, whose crew were nicknamed Eri, Beko and Kadapi.

His boat went to the scene, but the plane had already sunk; Rusli said they searched for some time but did not find any debris or bodies. The coordinates were recorded through the boat’s onboard GPS system. 

Asked why he was only coming forward now, Rusli said they had notified Malaysian and Indonesian authorities after returning to the mainland, but then chose to keep quiet after being milked for information by people who sought the fishermen out and “humiliated” them.

He was persuaded to go public with the report by Cassa, whose president Jacob George is lobbying authorities to launch another search for the jet.

Flight MH370 vanished with 227 passengers and 12 crew aboard while on a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Investigators believe it crashed in the Indian Ocean off Western Australia after running out of fuel, but a search covering 120,000 square kilometers found no traces.

The fate of the airliner remains the greatest mystery in aviation history.

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