It was with rude shock that the families of the passengers on board the missing Malaysian airline MH370, received news that the plane was now thought to have crashed at a site in the South Indian Ocean where survival would have been unlikely.
The announcement was made by the Malaysian Prime Minister Rajib Nazak, at a late press conference last night.
The Malaysian airline flight took off from Kuala Lumpur 17 days ago and vanished barely an hour into it’s flight which was destined for China.
The exact events leading to the disappearance of the Boeing 777 aircraft has been a mystery to authorities and the media who have spinned all kinds of theories from terrorism to mechanical failure to the mental health of the pilots, all in an effort to solve the puzzle of the plane’s disappearance since March 7.
In the last few days, satellite imaging from China and France had captured shots of debris floating in waters close to Australia, giving some hope that the plane would hopefully be found but this was unfortunately not to be.
According to the Malaysian authorities, new satellite data obtained with the help of London-based aircraft accident investigation company Inmarsat, showed that the airline crashed in a remote part of the south Indian ocean.
The Malaysian Prime Minister stated that this location is far from any landing sites adding, “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 authorities are facing further criticism from the families of the passengers on board the plane for being insensitive, as some family members were reportedly given the heartbreaking news by text.
The Malaysian authorities have however, defended their actions saying, “SMS and phone calls were made to those who are not in the hotels via our family support centre.”
Many relatives were reported to be understandably distraught after hearing the announcement with at least 6 fainting and having to be carried out of the room, while others shouted for proof that the plane did indeed crash.
In a statement released by the families last night, they said, “Malaysia Airlines, the government of Malaysia, and the military forces of Malaysia have concealed, delayed and hidden the truth from the relatives and the people of the world.”
“This despicable act aimed to fool the relatives of the 154 Chinese passengers has devastated us physically and mentally, while misleading and delaying the rescue operation, wasting a lot of manpower, material resources and leading to the loss of precious rescue time.
“If the 154 of our loved ones have lost their lives, then Malaysia Airlines, the government of Malaysia and the military are really the executioners.”
According to the BBC, “One woman, falling on the floor, said that her only son, her daughter-in-law and only grandson were on the flight, and that her family had been destroyed.”
The international search operation into finding the remains of the plane will continue but as of today, Australian authorities have paused all operations due to bad weather.