Update: The families of some of the Chinese and Taiwanese passengers have issued a strong statement, saying that the conclusions announced today are lacking in “strong evidence” and accused the government of trying to “deceive the passengers’ families and cheat the whole world.”
“This shameless behaviour not only fooled and hurt the families of the 154 passengers but also misguided and delayed rescue actions, wasting a large quantity of human resources and materials and lost valuable time for the rescue effort,” the statement continues. It also calls the Malaysian government, the airline and the military “the real executioners,” responsible for the deaths on flight 370.
(You can read the statement in full here.)
The airline has also taken heat for the condolence text message that was sent to families. The airline defended the action, saying it was only “an additional means of communicating with the families.”
The search for the aircraft and evidence of what happened to bring it down will continue. However, CBS News says it could take years to recover some of the wreckage, which could’ve sunk to the bottom of the Indian Ocean, 23,000 feet down.
Originally published this morning.
Confirming what most of us feared, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told family members this morning that flight 370 crashed in the South Indian Ocean west of Perth, Australia and there are no survivors. Family members of the 239 passengers received a text message to attend a private briefing; the PM made an official announcement at 10am ET (10 pm local time). NBC’s Adrienne Mong tweeted the text message that was sent to loved ones, alerting them of this news.
According to Business Insider, authorities say they “assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board have survived. … We must not accept all evidence suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean.” The site says family members will be heading to Australia today. A separate BI story reports on the reactions from relatives, who, of course, are distraught.
More debris believed to be part of the downed airplane was spotted in the waters of the South Indian Ocean and the US has sent a black box detector to the area. That detector has picked up faint signals. CNN reports that the plane dropped to an altitude 12,000 feet, possibly in an attempt to save the plane after a “catastrophic malfunction.” With this, the network says there’s evidence that the crew didn’t do anything wrong to cause the flight to go down.
“And in fact, now, we should be operating with the primary assumption being that something bad happened to that plane shortly after they said good night,” Miles O’Brien, CNN’s aviation analyst reported.
PM Razak says satellite analysis conducted by a British satellite company shows that the plane went down far from anyplace where it could have landed safely.
Flight 370 has been missing for two weeks. In recent days, a number of countries including China and the US have joined in the search for the missing aircraft.