Families of MH370 victims ′disappointed′ after no new clues given in report | News | DW | 30.07.2018
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Families of MH370 victims 'disappointed' after no new clues given in report

An independent report in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 did not give any new clues as to the fate of the plane. Families of the victims expressed disappointment and anger about the results.

A long-awaited official report into missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 gave no new evidence as to why the plane vanished.

"The team is unable to determine the real cause of the disappearance of MH370," Kok Soo Chon, head of the MH370 safety investigation team, said in a press conference. When asked if the fate of the plane would ever be ascertained, he said: "The answer can only be conclusive if the wreckage is found."

The report did reiterate Malaysia's stance that the plane was diverted and flew seven hours after the communications were cut, saying the "possibility of intervention by a third party cannot be excluded."

Kok also said it was not the final report into the plane's disappearance, as was previously suggested.

Flight MH370, a Boeing 777 aircraft, disappeared on March 8, 2014 during a routine flight between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing. All 239 people — 227 passengers and 12 crew members, are presumed dead.  Four years on, very little is known about the fate of the plane or those on board in one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries.

Frustrated families

The report left family members of the missing victims, who were briefed on the investigation before it was revealed to the public, angry and disappointed.

Grieving relatives had hoped the official investigation team's report could provide them with some closure. However, officials gave them little beyond a lengthy description of the plane's disappearance and search efforts.

"It is so disappointing," Intan Maizura Othman, whose husband was a steward on the flight, told French news agency AFP. "I am frustrated. There is nothing new to report. Those who gave the briefing from the ministry of transport were not able to give answers as they were not [the ones] who wrote the report."

She said that the meeting between family members and officials turned into a "shouting match." Some angry relatives walked out of the briefing.

However, the report did highlight protocols and guidelines that were not followed as well as other mistakes.

"We hope that these mistakes will not be repeated and that measures are put in place to prevent them in the future," Grace Nathan, a lawyer whose mother, Anne Daisy, was on the plane, told Reuters news agency. "The one point they stressed was that this report was not to assign blame, it was only a safety investigation."

Watch video 02:31

Hunt for Malaysia Airlines MH370 ends – what we know

Search abandoned

The report comes two months after Malaysia called off a privately funded underwater search for the plane. The Malaysian government had agreed to a 90-day "no find, no fee" contract worth $70 million (€60 million) with US-based firm Ocean Infinity in January.

The deal came a year after Australia, China and Malaysia ended an unsuccessful $157 million search of a 120,000-square-kilometer (46,300-square-mile) area. Investigators pushed for the search to be extended to a 25,000-square-kilometer area further north, but Australian and Malaysian governments said the analysis carried out by experts wasn't precise enough to justify the cost.

Investigators had little to go on except for traces of data that the plane left on satellite and radar. A few pieces of debris suspected to be from the aircraft washed up on Mauritius, Reunion and a small island off the coast of Tanzania.

Some theories as to the fate of flight MH370 include a remote hijacking, a terrorist hijacking, loss of fuel or an attack by an unknown military organization.

dv (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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