Anger as MH370 families say official report offers no new information

July 30, 2018 11:21 am
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The family members had been hoping that the official investigation team’s report could provide them with some closure over four years after the Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 239 people vanished © AFP / Mohd RASFAN

, Putrajaya, Malaysia, Jul 30 – A long-awaited official report into the disappearance of Flight MH370 gave no new clues about why the plane vanished, relatives of those on board the aircraft said Monday, expressing anger and disappointment.

Family members had been hoping that the official investigation team’s report could provide them with some closure, over four years after the Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 239 people went missing.

But grieving relatives said the technical document appeared to contain little new beyond a lengthy description of the plane’s disappearance and search efforts, and that officials were unable to answer their questions. Some angry relatives walked out of the briefing.

“It is so disappointing,” said Intan Maizura Othman, whose husband was a flight steward on MH370, which was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it vanished in March 2014.

“I am frustrated. There is nothing new in the 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 relatives and officials descended into a “shouting match” as family members’ frustration boiled over.

“Many asked questions,” said G. Subramaniam, who lost a son on the flight, but added that “unsatisfactory responses left many angry”.

The report was due to released publicly later Monday.

The Malaysia Airlines jet vanished in March 2014 with 239 people — mostly from China — on board, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing © AFP/File / MANAN VATSYAYANA

No sign of the jet was found in a 120,000-square kilometre (46,000-square mile) Indian Ocean search zone and the Australian-led hunt, the largest in aviation history, was suspended in January last year.

US exploration firm Ocean Infinity resumed the hunt at the start of this year on a “no find, no fee” basis, using high-tech drones to scour the seabed. But that search was called off after failing to find anything.

Malaysia’s new government, which took power in May, total transparency, including the release of the report by the official safety investigation team — a 19-member body which includes international investigators.

Only three confirmed fragments of MH370 have been found, all of them on western Indian Ocean shores, including a two-metre wing part known as a flaperon.

There have been a host of theories about why the plane disappeared, ranging from an accident to a hijacking or even a terror plot.

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