PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A distraught passenger claims ground crew at the Labuan airport lost his cat on the runway.
In a Facebook posting, Kiran Kumar Nesarajah claimed that his cat, Scooty, was supposed to be transported on board MH7417 from Labuan to Kuala Lumpur on June 24.
Kiran said his white cat with brown spots with a clipped right ear was last seen on the tarmac at 4.37pm that day.
He also wrote that his wife caught the incident on video, after she happened to look out the passenger window.
A video posted by Kiran showed a ground handler wearing a reflective safety vest with the MAS logo, carrying a light brown pet carrier.
The employee then can be seen handing over the pet carrier to two men who were driving an airport transportation buggy.
Subsequently, the men are seen taking the pet carrier away and driving off.
In his post, Kiran said before boarding, the cat was locked in an International Air Transport Association-certified pet carrier.
"I can tell you exactly how it happened. Someone opened the cage after the cat was checked in and didn't know how to lock it back," he wrote.
However, he said the airline had told him that the cage was "not locked".
"Total time searching for the cat (was) 10 minutes before (it was) aborted. (There was) no further information from anyone," he said, adding that he has not received a single phone call from the airline.
Kiran also said that no one from MAS had attempted to explain the situation to him.
When contacted, MAS said that the incident was currently being investigated by its team in Labuan, adding that the airline takes serious care and attention when handling all cargo.
"The airline is in touch with Mr Kiran Kumar Nesarajah directly to update him on all developments," it said.