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    Malaysia says data indicate MH370 crashed into the Indian Ocean

    Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 crashed into the southern Indian Ocean, Najib Razak, Malaysia’s prime minister, announced on Monday evening.
    Mr Najib said that based on new analysis from Inmarsat, a British satellite company, and UK investigators, the Malaysia Airlines flight had flown to a part of the Indian Ocean where there are no places to land.

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    “Flight MH370 ended in the Southern Indian Ocean,” Mr Najib said at a briefing at 10pm (2pm GMT) in Kuala Lumpur.

    The news comes 16 days after the Boeing 777 passenger jet vanished in the early hours of March 8 after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on a routine red-eye flight to Beijing.

    For the past two weeks, more than two dozen countries have been helping Malaysia look for the jet, in the most intensive search for a missing aircraft in history.

    Australian and Chinese aircraft on Monday spotted several objects floating in the southern Indian Ocean where international teams are searching for the missing airliner. However, none of the items has yet been recovered and Tony Abbott, the Australian prime minister, cautioned that they might be unconnected to the aircraft.

    “Based on their new analysis, Inmarsat and the AAIB [the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch] 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,” Mr Najib 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.”

    In Beijing, family members of some of the 153 Chinese nationals who were on the flight cried and shouted when they heard the news at a hotel where they have been staying. A number of ambulances were parked outside and stretchers were taken into the building in case people fainted. At least one person was carried out on a stretcher after hearing the news.

    The People’s Daily, the flagship paper of the Chinese Communist party, called for no let-up in the investigation. In a post on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, the People’s Daily wrote: “What we have received is sad news after 17 days waiting. However, there are still many mysteries to be resolved, too many questions to be answered. This is a difficult time. But the rescue should not stop, questioning should not stop. The truth is the best explanation to lives.”

    Hishammuddin Hussein, the Malaysian defence minister who has become the global face of the search, sought to reassure the relatives, tweeting after Mr Najib’s announcement: “#MH370: words just cannot describe how I feel 2nite but I promise you esp d families of all d passengers n crew: The search continues.”

    He also tweeted: “I truly understand there are no words which could console the family members of #MH370. The whole world is with you in these difficult times.”

    In his statement, Mr Najib said that Inmarsat and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch had reached the conclusion “using a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort”. He did not elaborate on the analysis.

    Earlier analysis from Inmarsat had concluded that MH370, which lost contact with air traffic control within an hour of taking off, had flown along one of two routes – a northern corridor that stretched to Kazakhstan and a southern corridor that ran down into the southern Indian Ocean.

    The focus of the search shifted last week from the South China Sea to an area 2,500km southwest of Perth in a remote part of the southern Indian Ocean after Australia obtained satellite imagery of two possible objects floating in the area.

    Hopes were initially raised that the objects were part of MH370 when Mr Abbott described the images as “credible”. But the following day he downplayed such optimism saying that it was also possible that they were unrelated to the missing aircraft and could be containers that had fallen off a cargo ship.

    Mr Najib added that the airline had already informed the families of the passengers and crew of the development. “For them, the past few weeks have been heartbreaking; I know this news must be harder still,” he said.
    Earlier, Malaysia Airlines said it had sent the following text message to relatives of those on board: “Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived. As you will hear in the next hour from Malaysia’s prime minister, we must now accept all evidence suggests the plane went down in the southern Indian Ocean.”
    Last edited by Naveed A Lodhi; 03-26-2014 at 08:28 AM.

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