Malaysian officials confirm missing jet crashed; families notified Monday
Monday, March 24, 2014, 1:20 PM - Based on two weeks of search efforts Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed Monday that Flight MH370 crashed in to the southern Indian Ocean, a remote area nowhere near any possible landing sites. The announcement was made based on new analysis and data uncovered during the expanded search.
"With deep sadness and regret I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight #MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean."— Mohd Najib Tun Razak (@NajibRazak) March 24, 2014
The flight disappeared from civilian radar screens less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on March 8, 2014.
The announcement was made in response to news that an Australian navy ship was close to finding possible debris from the jetliner after a mounting number of sightings of floating objects that are believed to parts of the plane. The debris found consisted of two objects in the search zone — the first grey or green and circular, the second orange and rectangular.
Depth in the suspected crash area can reach 7,000-metres and officials will now begin the search for the black box, which will provide more details in to the fatal crash. The battery on these black boxes typically lasts up to 30 days.
"If debris is found we will be able to respond as quickly as possible since the battery life of the black box's pinger is limited," Commander Chris Budde, U.S. Seventh Fleet Operations Officer, said in an emailed statement. Weather is playing a role in the recovery mission as a powerful tropical cyclone is formed north of where the debris site is located, and is expected to make any type of follow up search efforts difficult due to high winds and unsettled waters.
(PHOTO: Families react to the news of Flight MH317 during a news conference Monday.)
The families of the passengers on board the flight were notified during a Monday news conference a hotel in Beijing, which was a scene of intense grief as 17 days of waiting for definitive word on the fate of the passengers and crew of the missing Malaysia jetliner poured out.
Severe weather may hamper the continued search and recovery process as a tropical cyclone is creating high winds and unsettled waters north of the suspected crash site.