Malaysia PM says new data show missing plane plunged into Indian Ocean

The Associated Press
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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says a new analysis of satellite data shows that the missing Malaysia Airlines plane plunged into the southern Indian Ocean.

A relative cries as she arrives at a hotel designated as a holding area for family members of passengers on board the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Wednesday, March 12, 2014, in Sepang, Malaysia. More than four days after a Malaysian jetliner went missing on route to Beijing, authorities acknowledged Wednesday they didn't know in which direction the plane and its 239 passengers was heading when it disappeared, vastly complicating efforts to find it

If confirmed, the news would be a major breakthrough in the unprecedented two-week struggle to find out what happened to Flight 370.

The flight disappeared shortly after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew aboard.

The full statement given late Monday by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who said satellite data showed Flight 370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean:

"This evening I was briefed by representatives from the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB). They informed me that Inmarsat, the UK company that provided the satellite data which indicated the northern and southern corridors, has been performing further calculations on the data. Using a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort, they have been able to shed more light on MH370’s flight path.

Based on their new analysis, Inmarsat and the AAIB 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.

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.

We will be holding a press conference tomorrow with further details. In the meantime, we wanted to inform you of this new development at the earliest opportunity. We share this information out of a commitment to openness and respect for the families, two principles which have guided this investigation.

Malaysia Airlines have already spoken to the families of the passengers and crew to inform them of this development. For them, the past few weeks have been heartbreaking; I know this news must be harder still. I urge the media to respect their privacy, and to allow them the space they need at this difficult time."

Relatives of passengers in Beijing had been called to a hotel near the airport to hear the announcement. Afterward, they filed out of a conference room in heart-wrenching grief.

One woman collapsed and fell on her knees, crying “My son! My son!”

Geographic location: Malaysia, Indian Ocean, Kuala Lumpur Beijing

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