Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has announced that satellite evidence has shown without doubt that the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 had crashed in the southern Indian Ocean off the southwest coast of Australia.
In an unscheduled Monday evening media conference which was attended by reletiaves of the 239 passengers on board, Mr Rajak said: “With sadness and deep regret we have to conclude that flight MH370 flew along the southern corridor until its fuel ran out.”
He said the conclusion had been drawn after further analysis of signals from the Boeing 777’s ACARS transmitter that picked up by a commercial Inmarsat satellite somewhere on an arc stretching from the search area right up into central Asia on the morning of the crash on March 8. The signals have since been compared to other aircraft using the northern corridor along the arc since the crash, effectively eliminating that possibility.
Of the current search area, Mr Rajak said: “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.”
Malaysia Airlines also made a statement, saying: “Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean,” and adding that, “The ongoing multinational search operation will continue, as we seek answers to the questions which remain. Alongside the search for MH370, there is an intensive investigation, which we hope will also provide answers.”
The announcements follow a day where multiple sightings of objects were made I the search area by Chinese IL-76 and Australian AP-3C search aircraft, raising the hopes that a breakthrough was near. Although none of these objects could be confirmed as being from the missing 777, ships were being directed to the last known positions of the debris.
The search for debris has been halted for Tuesday due to bad weather and low visibility in the search area.