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Iranian traveling on stolen passport was seeking asylum

Steve Marks, a Miami aviation lawyer who represented families in two instances in which an airliner plummeted from cruising altitude, pointed to a mechanical failure as the most likely cause of the Malaysia tragedy.

“There can be a mechanical problem that can occur at altitude, where the pilots are unable to report the failure and the aircraft is lost on radar,” he said.

Nonetheless, he said, the failure of all communications from the Malaysia Air flight made it “the most mysterious” crash in his recollection.

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