Monday, March 24, seventeen agonizing days after the Malaysian Flight 370 vanished en route to Beijing, Malaysian Prime minister Najib Razak delivered a short statement of profound regret affirming that the missing airliner ended its flight in a corridor in the southern Indian Ocean. The 239 passengers and crew aboard the flight could not have survived, said Razak. The families have been informed that their wait is tragically over.
He revealed that satellite data analysis from the UK company Inmarsat helped conclude that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean using technology never before used in the the search of lost aircraft.
The prime minister did not discuss the nature of the debris believed to have come from the downed Malaysian airliner; nor did he explain what caused the plane to fly seven hours massively off course in the opposite direction from its route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. He only indicated that it must have come down more than two weeks ago and therefore, even if there were survivors when plane came down, they could not have survived in the freezing waters of the southern Indian Ocean.
Radar experts describe the British search technology as the analysis of “pings” picked up from debris sighted up to 2,000 miles at sea distance form the Australian town of Perth, but closer to the Antarctic than Australia..
Those emissions indicated that those pieces had been in the water for 15 days.
Prime Minister Razak promised another news conference Tuesday with more detailed information. None of the parties involved in the multinational search for the plane, Chinese, Australian or Malaysian, was yet willing to offer an explanation for how the doomed flight came to be in the place where it went down. They assume it stayed aloft until its fuel tanks were empty and then dropped into the ocean. No one has been able to establish whether the passengers and crew aboard were still alive up to the end.
While the first part of the search for flight MH370 ended Monday, March 24, the next part is about to begin to raise the plane from the sea bed in extraordinarily rought waters – hopefully with its black box still in working order.