Officials have confirmed that Flight 370 crashed into the Indian Ocean and there are no survivors among the 239 people on board. However, officials gave no indication during Monday’s announcement as to what happened on flight MH370 during its final hours, leaving relatives, who discovered the news by text message from Malaysia Airlines, with little closure on the fate of the flight’s victims.
Malaysian prime minster Najib Razak held a press conference Monday evening and said that it was with “great sadness” that new data had shown the plane’s last location was in the Southern Indian Ocean, southwest of Perth, Australia.
“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,” he said.
“This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites.”
Search teams from 26 nations have poured over radar data and scoured a wide swath of Asia for weeks with advanced aircraft and ships in a deeply frustrating attempt find the plane.
Today’s search for any signs of flight MH370 is now underway.
Today’s search is split into three areas within the same proximity covering a cumulative 80,000 square kilometres.
A total of six countries are now assisting in the search and recovery operation – Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea.
A total of seven military and five civil aircraft will be involved in today’s search activities.
One Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft from China departed Perth around 8am for the search area.
A Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion aircraft NZ P-3K2 departed for the search area around 9.10am.
A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orion is scheduled to depart Perth around 11am.
A US Navy P8 Poseidon is due to depart around 2pm.
A Japanese P3 Orion is due to depart Perth around 3pm.
A second RAAF P3 Orion is scheduled to depart for the search area around 4pm.
A Republic of Korea P3 Orion is due to depart around 5pm.
Two civil aircraft have now departed Perth for the search area.
The remaining three civil aircraft will depart for the search area between 10am and midday.
A total of 34 State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers from Western Australia will be air observers on board the five civil aircraft.
HMAS Success and China’s polar supply ship Xue Long are now in the search area.