Photos Courtesy: Various news sources. Australian and U.S. Naval Aviators search the southern Indian Ocean. Heart-broken families after the Malaysian Prime Minister informed them of the grim conclusions on Monday.
Australian maritime officials say the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has shifted 680 miles northeast in the south Indian Ocean, CNN reports. Based on radar analysis, the new search area is 1,273 miles southwest of Perth, Australia, according to CNN.com. The plane also was traveling faster than first thought. Satellites have been shifted to take images in the redefined search area. Over the past week, satellite images from Thailand’s Geo-Informatics Space Technology Development Agency showed a group of 300 pieces floating in the ocean west of Australia. The objects are 6 feet to 50 feet in size and located 125 miles away from the debris picked up by French satellite images on Sunday. French satellite images showed a group of 122 floating pieces, including a 75-foot object.
Recovering and finding the debris on the satellite images has been difficult due to strong sea currents that could move the debris farther away. Poor weather conditions in that part of the southern Indian Ocean also has limited the ship and plane search by Australia, the United States, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea and 5 civil planes.
The Australian-led search is likely to experience better weather conditions in the new search area in the south Indian Ocean.
As the search continues, the families of the missing passengers and crew wait for answers, too.
“I miss him, but I still have hope,” said Sondra Wood in Texas to NBC News Wednesday. Wood’s son, Philip, is one of the 239 people on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that vanished on March 8th.
On Tuesday, hundreds of protestors in China marched to oppose the Malaysian government and airlines’ conclusions of what happened. Some angry, heart-broken Flight 370 families also accuse Malaysian officials and the airline of murder, cover-up and lying.
The FBI has investigated the 2 pilots and found nothing to suggest the pilots did anything criminal. It’s still unknown what really happened on Flight 370 without finding and recovering the plane’s black boxes. The batteries in the plane’s communications’ boxes send out pings for 30 days. With the plane lost on March 8th, 11 days remain to pick up their signals.
After 17 days of not knowing, the families of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 learned that it ended in the southern Indian Ocean. On Monday, March 24th, the Malaysian Prime Minister announced the dreaded news to the families at a briefing in Kuala Lumpur.
“It is therefore, with deep sadness and regret, that I must inform you that according to this new data, Flight MH 370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean,” the Malaysian Prime Minister told them.
Families also gathered in Beijing, China to receive the grim conclusion. Before the Malaysian Prime Minister’s briefings, Malaysia Airlines texted all the families this message.
“Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH 370 has been lost and that none of those onboard 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,” said the Malaysia Airlines text.
Reporters at the family briefings witnessed crying, screaming, wailing relatives–some carried out on a bed or stretcher after they were told.
“My son, my daughter-in-law and granddaugther were all on board. All three family members are gone. I am desperate!” said a Chinese woman in Beijing.
“Where is the proof? You haven’t confirmed the suspected objects to tell us no one survived,” screamed another woman.
The Malaysian government and airlines conclusion that the Boeing 777 with 239 people onboard ended in the southern Indian Ocean was based on satellite image analysis by Inmarsat, a British company, the Malaysian Prime Minister said.
Chinese and Australian satellite images of debris published nearly 2 weeks ago, intensified the search for the plane in the southern Indian Ocean.