A relative of a passenger shouts at journalists in Beijing after watching a television broadcast of the Malaysian Prime Minister’s announcement. (Reuters)
March 24: Malaysia’s Prime Minister said today that an analysis of satellite data had confirmed that the missing airliner went down in the southern Indian Ocean.
All 239 people on board were presumed dead, airline officials said.
The announcement narrowed the search area but left many questions unanswered about why the plane had flown to such a remote part.
Analysis of satellite information from British company Inmarsat had shown that the Boeing 777’s last position was in the Indian Ocean west of Perth, Australia, Prime Minister Najib Razak said in Kuala Lumpur. ( )
“This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites,” he said. “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.”
The Boeing 777, with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board, was headed from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it disappeared on March 8.
An Australian navy ship was close to finding possible debris from the jetliner after a mounting number of sightings of floating objects that are believed to be parts of the plane. The search site is about 2,500km southwest of Perth, in icy sub-Arctic seas that are in one of the most remote parts of the globe.
The objects were described as a “grey or green circular object” and an “orange rectangular object”.
Relatives of some Chinese passengers screamed, cried and collapsed on the ground after the Malaysian Prime Minister’s announcement. There were hysterical scenes at the Beijing hotel where many of the relatives of those on board are staying. More than 150 of the passengers were Chinese.
China immediately demanded that Malaysia share all information and evidence.
Najib said the Malaysian authorities would hold a news conference tomorrow to give further details.