The Malaysian Prime Minister announced in a news conference Monday that new analysis showed Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went down in the southern Indian Ocean, which answered some questions about the missing plane but left many others still unanswered.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went down in the southern Indian Ocean, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Monday, citing a new analysis of satellite data by a British satellite company and accident investigators.
A relative of a missing passenger briefed by the airline in Beijing said, “They have told us all lives are lost.”
While the announcement appeared to end hopes of finding survivors more than two weeks after the flight vanished, it left many key questions unanswered, including what went wrong aboard the Beijing-bound airliner and the location of its wreckage in the deep, wild waters of the Indian Ocean.
The Prime Minister cited deeper analysis from the UK Air Accident investigation branch (AAIB) and British satellite company Inmarsat concluding that “MH370 flew along the southern corridor and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth.”
“This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites,” the Prime Minister said in the press conference. “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.”
Australian officials also said Monday that objects had been spotted in the southern Indian Ocean by an Australian plane but it was not known if these were from flight MH370, according to BBC News. An Australian navy supply ship had reportedly been sent to look for them. Aircraft from other countries, including China, the United States and Japan, had also been searching in the same general area Monday, according to CNN.
More from CBS News:
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.
U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes on Monday stopped short of saying the U.S. had independent confirmation of the status of the missing airliner. He noted the conclusion of Malaysian authorities that the Boeing 777 had plunged into the Indian Ocean and said the U.S., which has been assisting the search effort, was focused on that southern corridor of the ocean.
At the time of this writing however, no confirmed related wreckage had yet been located.
In a media statement posted to its website, Malaysia airlines reiterated information from the Malaysian Prime Minister’s statement and said it would continue to support the investigation.
It is with deep sadness that Malaysia Airlines earlier this evening had to confirm to the families of those on board Flight MH370 that it must now be assumed the flight had been lost. As the Prime Minister said, respect for the families is essential at this difficult time. And it is in that spirit that we informed the majority of the families in advance of the Prime Minister’s statement in person and by telephone. SMSs were used only as an additional means of communicating with the families. Those families have been at the heart of every action the company has taken since the flight disappeared on 8th March and they will continue to be so. When Malaysia Airlines receives approval from the investigating authorities, arrangements will be made to bring the families to the recovery area and until that time, we will continue to support the ongoing investigation.
While Monday’s announcements offered some information that may be helpful in narrowing the search field, they seemed to offer little answers to much of the other speculation about various other details in the mystery surrounding Flight MH370.
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