|(Flight MH370) We never said the plane actually ‘crashed,’ Malaysia insists
Malaysia took issue with the word “crash’’ today, saying the official government statement on March 24, never said so.
Words like “Crash" or “no survivors" had never been mentioned by Prime Minister Najib Razak (Pictured reading the statement on March 24) when announcing that the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 “ended’’ in the southern Indian Ocean on March 24.
Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein offered the explanation today at a briefing in light of demands by families of Chinese passengers for a government apology.
“Part of the reason for that request is an allegation that the prime minister or the government had stated that the plane had actually crashed and that there were no survivors.
“That is totally erroneous... There was no mention of a crash or no survivors," he said quoting Najib's statement on March 24, the state news agency Bernama reported him as saying.
Najib said in his statement:
“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 MH370s 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.’’
What Malaysia Airlines said in a text message:
“Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board have survived.
“As you will hear in the next hour from Malaysia's Prime Minister, we must now accept that all evidence suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean.”