Malaysia: Missing flight crashed in Indian Ocean

If confirmed, the news would be a major breakthrough in the unprecedented two-week struggle to find out what happened to Flight 370.

Japanese Commander Hidetsugu Iwamasa steps off his P3-C Orion of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force after arriving to help with search operations for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 at Royal Australian Air Force Pearce Base in Perth, Australia, Sunday, March 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Jason Reed, Pool)

Japanese Commander Hidetsugu Iwamasa steps off his P3-C Orion of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force after arriving to help with search operations for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 at Royal Australian Air Force Pearce Base in Perth, Australia, Sunday, March 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Jason Reed, Pool) (3/24/14)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - A new analysis of satellite data indicates the missing Malaysia Airlines plane crashed into a remote corner of the Indian Ocean, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Monday.

The news is a major breakthrough in the unprecedented two-week struggle to find out what happened to Flight 370, which disappeared shortly after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew aboard on March 8.

But with the location of the plane itself still unknown - most likely somewhere at the bottom of the sea - profound questions remain about what brought down the aircraft and why.

Dressed in a black suit, Najib announced the news in a brief statement to reporters late Monday night, saying the information was based on an unprecedented analysis of satellite data from Inmarsat.

He said the data indicated the plane flew "to 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."

Selamat Omar, the father of a 29-year-old aviation engineer who was on the flight, said some members of families of other passengers broke down in tears at the news.

"We accept the news of the tragedy. It is fate," Selamat told The Associated Press in Kuala Lumpur.

Selamat said the airline hasn't told the families yet whether they will be taken to Australia, which is coordinating the search for the plane. He said they expect more details Tuesday.

Search teams from 26 nations have poured over radar data and scoured a wide swath of Asia for weeks with advanced aircraft and ships in a deeply frustrating attempt find the plane.

Malaysia Airlines said in a statement to the families that "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," the airline said. "The ongoing multinational search operation will continue, as we seek answers to the questions which remain."

A Malaysia Airlines official, who declined to be named citing company policy, said there are no plans to fly the families to the Australian city of Perth until wreckage is found.

The plane's disappearance shortly after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur on a routine flight to Beijing has baffled investigators, who have yet to rule out mechanical or electrical failure, hijacking, sabotage, terrorism or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or someone else on board.

Officials have said that the plane automatically sent a brief signal - a "ping" - every hour to the Inmarsat satellite even after other communication systems on the jetliner shut down.

The pings did not include any location information, but an initial analysis showed that the location of the last ping was probably along one of two vast arcs running north and south.

Najib said Inmarsat had done further calculations "using a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort," and had concluded that the plane's last position was "in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth."

On Monday, ships rushed to the location of floating objects spotted by Australian and Chinese planes in the southern Indian Ocean close to where multiple satellites have detected possible remains of the lost airliner.

One ship was carrying equipment to detect the plane's vital black box, but it remained uncertain whether the vessels were approaching a successful end to the search or another frustrating dead end.

 

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

1 Long Island Sportscast, Dec. 9
Police say an Uber driver was attacked after 2 Uber driver attacked in Bethpage over Thanksgiving weekend
Although he won't take office for a few 3 Suozzi urges fellow Democrats to 'find religion'
Suffolk police say a body was found behind 4 Police: Body found behind auto parts store
Immigrant advocates are calling for law enforcement agencies 5 Immigrant advocates ask officials not to work with ICE

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

An Indonesian Air Force officer draws a flight Malaysia widens search for missing plane

The plane left Kuala Lumpur and was flying northward across the South China Sea to

Malaysian officials now say investigators determined a satellite Search for missing Malaysia jet expands

Malaysian officials now say investigators determined a satellite picked up a faint signal from the

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE