MH370News:2014/Day 017

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Day 017: Monday, 24 March 2014

News Summary

5:30 PM
Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak confirms that the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 took a course along the Southern Corridor where it is expected to have ended its journey in a remote part of the Indian Ocean. MAS announced that it is assumed beyond reasonable doubt that flight MH370 has been lost.

Source: DCA (Malaysia) - Interactive Timeline

Media Statements

Monday, March 24, 05:30 PM MYT +0800 Malaysia Airlines MH370 Flight Incident - Press Statement by Ministry of Transport, Malaysia

Introductory statement 

The search for MH370 continues. Over the past few days, new leads from satellite data have focused our search and rescue operations in the southern corridor. Our partners continue to deploy assets to assist us, as we work to narrow the search areas.

1.    Operational update

Yesterday, 18,500 square nautical miles were searched in the Australian search area.

Two orange objects approximately one metre in length and one white coloured drum were sighted by search aircraft, but remain unidentified and have not been conclusively linked to MH370.

HMAS Success detected two radar targets within the search area, but could not locate the targets on further investigation of the area.

Earlier today, a Chinese search plane reportedly sighted objects in the Australian search area. These objects are not in the vicinity of those which were identified by the Australian authorities last week.

A few minutes ago the Prime Minister received a call from the Prime Minister of Australia, who informed him that an Australian search aircraft had located two objects in the Australian search area, one circular and one rectangular.

HMAS Success is in the vicinity and it is possible that the objects could be received within the next few hours, or by tomorrow morning at the latest.

Three search areas, totalling approximately 20,000 square nautical miles,  have been identified for operations today. RCC Australia anticipates that 10 aircraft will be used.

HMAS Success remains the only vessel in the search area. A number of Chinese vessels are expected to commence arriving within the search area on 25th March.

3 aircraft - 2 from Japan and 1 from the UAE – have already departed from Subang today and are en route to the southern corridor.

6 Malaysian ships, with 3 ship-borne helicopters, are now in northern part of the southern corridor. 10 Chinese ships are in the southern corridor, carrying out search and rescue operations. HMS Echo is currently refuelling in the Maldives and will be sailing to the southern corridor this evening.

In the northern corridor, Turkmenistan have confirmed they have not had any sightings of MH370 on their radar. Each piece of information we receive from our partners in the northern corridor helps us to continuously narrow the corridor.

1.    Satellite images

New leads into MH370’s possible location have come from satellite data. This was one of the four tools we identified that could narrow the search area, along with surveillance radar data, increasing surface and air assets, and bringing in more technical experts.

The most recent images were obtained by French satellites, which captured radar images of potential objects in the vicinity of the southern corridor on 21st March. These images were received by Malaysia on the evening of the 22nd March, and were relayed to RCC Australia on the morning of the 23rd March, as they are leading the search in that particular area of the southern corridor.

This morning we have received a further set of images from French satellites, this time captured by cameras. These images were taken yesterday and have been relayed to RCC Australia.

2.    Family briefings

Yesterday, the high-level team met with families in Beijing for more than eight hours. 

The families asked many questions, and made detailed requests for radar readings and other data. Some of these questions could not be answered, and some of the data they requested was still being held by the investigation, as is standard procedure in investigations of this sort.

After meeting with the families for a total of more than twelve hours, and taking hundreds of questions, the high-level team has returned to Kuala Lumpur to discuss the matters raised at the meetings. They will return to Beijing tomorrow to continue.

The briefings in Kuala Lumpur over the last two days went smoothly,  and the families responded as positively as could be expected, with the families engaging with representatives from the relevant authorities.

It has always been our intention to keep the families as fully informed as possible. We continue to do so.  

3.    Specific questions

There are a few specific questions I would like to respond to.

On the police investigation, we can confirm that the police have interviewed more than a hundred people, including families of both the pilot and co-pilot.

As far as the transcript is concerned, the technical committee is considering releasing it and we will keep you informed about the decision.

The Inspector General of the Police will attend tomorrow’s press conference to answer further questions on the investigation.

We can also confirm that MH370 was carrying wooden pallets. However, there is as yet no evidence that these are related to the wooden pallets reportedly sighted in the Australian search area.

4.    Concluding remarks

The search for MH370 has taken us halfway around the world. At the moment there are new leads, but nothing conclusive. Our thoughts continue to be with the families who are still waiting for news. In the meantime, we are grateful for the on-going co-operation shown by our partners in this multinational search. 

Source: Ministry of Transport (Malaysia) via the Web Archive

Media Statement

Venue  : PWTC
Date  : 24/03/2014

Pejabat Perdana Menteri

This evening I was briefed by representatives from the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).

They informed me that Inmarsat, the UK company that provided the satellite data which indicated the northern and southern corridors, has been performing further calculations on the data.

Using a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort, they have been able to shed more light on MH370's flight path.

Based on their new analysis, Inmarsat and the AAIB 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.

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.

We will be holding a press conference tomorrow with further details. In the meantime, we wanted to inform you of this new development at the earliest opportunity.

We share this information out of a commitment to openness and respect for the families, two principles which have guided this investigation.

Malaysia Airlines have already spoken to the families of the passengers and crew to inform them of this development.

For them, the past few weeks have been heartbreaking; I know this news must be harder still. I urge the media to respect their privacy, and to allow them the space they need at this difficult time.

Source: Prime Minister's Office of Malaysia via the Web Archive

Media Statement

Venue  : PWTC
Date  : 24/03/2014

Pejabat Perdana Menteri

Malam ini saya diberi taklimat oleh wakil-wakil dari Cawangan Penyiasatan Kemalangan Udara UK (AAIB).

Mereka memberitahu saya bahawa Inmarsat, syarikat UK yang menyediakan data satelit meliputi koridor utara dan selatan, telah melakukan pengiraan lanjut terhadap data itu.

Dengan mengggunakan kaedah analisis yang belum pernah digunakan dalam sesuatu penyiasatan seumpama ini, mereka telah berjaya membuat pencerahan mengenai laluan penerbangan MH370.

Berdasarkan analisis baharu mereka, Inmarsat dan AAIB telah membuat kesimpulan bahawa MH370 terbang melalui koridor selatan, dan kedudukan terakhirnya adalah di tengah-tengah Lautan Hindi, di barat Perth.

Ini merupakan lokasi yang terpencil, jauh dari sebarang lokasi pendaratan. Justeru itu dengan perasaan sedih dan kesal yang amat sangat, saya perlu memaklumkan anda bahawa menurut data baharu ini, penerbangan MH370 berakhir di selatan Lautan Hindi.

Kami akan mengadakan sidang akhbar esok untuk memaklumkan butiran lanjut.

Sementara itu kami ingin memaklumkan anda mengenai perlembangan terbaharu ini dalam kadar segera.

Kami berkongsi maklumat ini atas dasar komitmen kami terhadap keterbukaan dan perasaan hormat kepada seluruh keluarga, dua prinsip yang menjadi panduan penyiasatan ini.

Malaysia Airlines sudah pun memaklumkan kepada semua keluarga penumpang dan anak kapal untuk memberitahu mereka perkembangan ini.

Bagi mereka dua minggu yang berlalu cukup memeritkan; saya sedar bahawa berita ini akan lebih sukar lagi. Saya menggesa pihak media supaya menghormati privasi mereka dan memberi mereka ruang menghadapi situasi getir ini.

Source: Prime Minister's Office of Malaysia via the Web Archive

Monday, March 24, 10:15 PM MYT +0800 Malaysia Airlines MH370 Flight Incident - Media Statement 23

Note: The communication below was shared with the family members of passengers and crew of MH370

Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean. As you will hear in the next hour from Malaysia’s Prime Minister, new analysis of satellite data suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean.

On behalf of all of us at Malaysia Airlines and all Malaysians, our prayers go out to all the loved ones of the 226 passengers and of our 13 friends and colleagues at this enormously painful time.

We know there are no words that we or anyone else can say which can ease your pain. We will continue to provide assistance and support to you, as we have done since MH370 first disappeared in the early hours of 8 March, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

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.

We would like to assure you that Malaysia Airlines will continue to give you our full support throughout the difficult weeks and months ahead.

Once again, we humbly offer our sincere thoughts, prayers and condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy.

Please note translation for this statement to Chinese language is in progress.


Source: Malaysia Airlines MAS-MS23-017


Source: Department of Information (Jabatan Penerangan Malaysia) via MH370 Official Site