Malaysian authorities are assuming beyond a reasonable doubt that the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been lost in the Southern Indian Ocean.
NBC News reports that Malaysia Airlines sent a text message to the relatives of the 239 people who were on board the plane saying “we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board have survived. … We must now accept all evidence suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean.”
Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak announced the new developments at a press conference on Monday.
“This evening, I was briefed by representatives from the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch … they informed me that [satellite company] Inmarsat … has been performing further calculations on the data using a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort,” he said. “They have been able to shed more light on MH370.”
Razak continued: “[Investigators] 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, [Australia]. 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.”
The U.S. Navy is now flying a black box detector to the area in hopes of recovering the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder. A U.S. Navy plane flying over the possible debris field detected two or three faint radar hits, according to NBC News reporter Bill Neely.
Families of the MH370 passengers are taking charter flights to Australia tonight, according to Sky News.
Both Chinese and Australian aircraft have spotted possible debris in the Indian Ocean. The Boeing 777 plane went missing on March 8 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. There were 239 people on board.
Military radar shows that the plane reportedly changed altitude and dropped to about 12,000 feet after making a sharp turn off its planned flight path, CNN reports.
This could point to the pilots trying to save the plane after something catastrophic happened — dropping to a low altitude is a procedure pilots use when the plane loses pressure. Getting down to a low altitude can save passengers on board because there’s enough air in the atmosphere to keep everyone alive.
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