THE MALAYSIAN Prime Minister has announced to the world that new data has concluded missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 crashed in the Southern Indian Ocean, killing all 239 passengers and crew on board, including six Australians.
Speaking at an unexpected press conference late on Monday night, Prime Minister Najib Razak told reporters more light had been shed on the jetliner’s flight path, indicating the plane flew along the southern corridor and “ended in the middle of the Indian Ocean”.
“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 told reporters at an unexpected press conference at 10pm Malaysian time (01:00am AEDT).
He said the company which provided the initial satellite data and highlighted the possible northern and southern search corridors had conducted “further calculations” on the data which concluded the Boeing-777’s last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, “west of Perth”.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Malaysia Airlines briefed the families of the passengers and crew during an urgent meeting prior to the Prime Minister’s announcement.
One relative was stretchered into the back of an awaiting ambulance after fainting while watching the overwhelming announcement from Beijing.
“We deeply regret that we have to assume that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean,” the Airline said in a statement.
“On behalf of all of us at Malaysia Airlines and all Malaysians, our prayers go out to all the loved ones of the 226 passengers and of our 13 friends and colleagues at this enormously painful time.
“We know there are no words that we or anyone else can say which can ease your pain. We humbly offer our sincere thoughts, prayers and condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy.”
The Malaysian Prime Minister is expected to hold a more in depth press conference today.
It comes after the crew aboard an Australian aircraft spotted two large coloured objects floating in the southern Indian Ocean search zone, 2500km south-west of Perth on Monday afternoon.
The search team reporting seeing two objects – the first a grey or green circular object and the second an orange rectangular object.
A Chinese search plane also reported seeing two “big floating objects”, surrounded by smaller ones, on Monday while heading back to the search headquarters at RAAF Base Pearce in Perth.
The United States Navy are sending a state-of-the-art black box locator to the area.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority suspended the search for the wreckage in the southern Indian Ocean on Tuesday morning due to adverse weather conditions.
The international sea and air search will resume on Wednesday morning, providing the weather has eased.