More than two weeks after the plane disappeared during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, investigators have concluded that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 crashed in the southern corridor of the Indian Ocean. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced the news at a press conference called together after an emergency meeting was held for relatives of those aboard MH370.
According to Razak, “a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort” was employed to verify the flight’s fate. That analysis and other calculations were carried out by British satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat. “This is a remote location far from any possible landing sites,” Razak 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 airline has dispatched a text message to impacted families stating that “MH370 has been lost” and “none of those on board survived.” According to Razek, MH370’s last position was in the Indian Ocean west of Perth, Australia.
The search for MH370 has gripped the entire world, with over 26 couantries volunteering to help find the airliner that carried 239 passengers when it departed Kuala Lumpur on March 7th (March 8th local time). Since then, investigators have pored over information and satellite data in an attempt to uncover the plane’s whereabouts. Authorities have revealed the flight was intentionally diverted away from its original path. That ominous revelation left them with a search area that at times has seemed hopelessly large.
But in recent days, Australia, China, and France have each spotted possible debris in the Indian Ocean’s southern corridor, leading investigators to focus their efforts on the large swath of ocean. “Obviously we have now had a number of very credible leads and there is increasing hope — no more than hope, no more than hope — that we might be on the road to discovering what did happen to this ill-fated aircraft,” said Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. With investigators seemingly confident about MH370’s tragic conclusion, the hunt for debris remains priority number one. The plane’s black boxes could help answer how and why it went missing in the first place.