Distress: A relative of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 yells at security personnel during a protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, yesterday. Loved ones demand more answers about the crashed plane’s fate. *AFP photo
Distress: A relative of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 yells at security personnel during a protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, yesterday. Loved ones demand more answers about the crashed plane’s fate. *AFP photo

Finally, some closure for the loved ones. Or is it?

Malaysia’s prime minister has announced that missing flight MH370 crashed in the southern Indian Ocean. There were 227 passengers on board, many of them Chinese. And their loved ones want more answers. This summary by the BBC.


What prompted this conclusion?

Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak cited fresh analysis of satellite data tracking the flight.

It was based on new analysis by British satellite firm Inmarsat, which provided satellite data, and the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).


How did the families react?

Relatives of those on board who watched the announcement at a Beijing hotel wept with grief, and some were taken away on stretchers by medical teams.

Selamat Omar, the father of a 29-year-old aviation engineer who was on the flight, said some family members of other passengers broke down in tears at the news.

“We accept the news of the tragedy. It is fate,” Selamat told the Associated Press in Kuala Lumpur.


How did the Chinese government respond?

China has demanded that the Malaysian authorities make available the evidence on which they based their announcement about the jet’s fate.

And some relatives of Chinese passengers expressed scepticism about their conclusion, as the plane has not been found yet.


How long has the plane been missing?

Flight MH370 disappeared after taking off on 8 March from Kuala Lumpur.

A big international search operation has been taking place in the southern Indian Ocean, along the southern arc or corridor of the plane’s possible route, more than 1,500 miles (2,500km) off the southwest coast of Australia.


What about reports of debris?

In recent days, both Australian and Chinese air force crews reported spotting debris.

The unidentified objects have been seen in separate parts of the vast search area, in some of the world’s most treacherous and remote waters.


What exactly did the Malaysian PM say
?

He said experts “have concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth”. 

Mr Razak added. “This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites. It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”

Mr Razak appealed to the media to respect the privacy of the families of the passengers and crew, saying the wait for information had been heartbreaking and this latest news harder still.


What is the airline’s position?

Malaysia Airlines said it informed the majority of the families in advance of the prime minister’s statement in person and by telephone, and that text messages “were used only as an additional means of communicating with the families”. 

Source: BBC