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Friday, April 25, 2014
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Day 47 April 25 , 2014 -- Fruitless underwater search to expand ( Authorities just fishing now , no clue where to search in the Indian Ocean ) , US throw out reality the search will go on fruitlessly for years ( or until folks get bored and tune out ... ) .......... TENSIONS REIGNITE! Desperate MH370 families protest at M'sian embassy after chaotic meeting with MAS , MAJOR U-TURN: M'sian PM swerves from previous MH370 'NO SURVIVORS' 'ENDED IN OCEAN' claims, to release report next week
CANBERRA: The seabed search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet is set to widen as a sonar scan of the most likely crash site deep beneath the Indian Ocean nears completion without yielding a single clue, authorities said on Friday.
Meanwhile in Beijing, about 50 relatives of Chinese passengers on the plane on Friday continued a sit-in protest outside the Malaysian embassy after officials failed to show up to update them on the search.
The Australian search coordination center said a robotic submarine had scanned 95 percent of a 310-square-kilometer (120-square-mile) search area since last week but had found nothing of interest.
The U.S. Navy’s Bluefin 21 is creating a three-dimensional sonar map of the ocean floor near where signals consistent with airplane black boxes were heard on April 8.
The search area is a circle with a 10-kilometer (6-mile) radius 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles) deep off the west Australian coast. The search of the target area is scheduled to be completed within days.
“If no contacts of interest are made, Bluefin 21 will continue to examine the areas adjacent to the 10-kilometer radius,” the center said in a statement.
“We are currently consulting very closely with our international partners on the best way to continue the search into the future,” it added, referring to Malaysia, United States and China.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told CNN on Thursday that his government will release a preliminary report on the plane’s disappearance next week.
The report has already been sent to the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organization, but has yet to be made available to the public, CNN reported.
The Malaysian government, which has primary responsibility for the investigation, has been accused of mismanaging the search, concealing information about the tragedy and of being too slow to update families of the missing on developments.
In Beijing, the relatives had marched to the Malaysian embassy from their hotel Thursday night after Malaysian officials failed to show up for a promised briefing.
“We keep on waiting because we want the news,” said Steve Wang, whose parents were aboard the flight and who has served as a representative for the relatives.
“What we are concerned about is where is the plane, and where are our loved ones,” Wang said.
Some relatives scuffled with police officers who tried to prevent them leaving the hotel.
On Friday morning, more than 100 police and paramilitary officers had cordoned off the area around the embassy in a northeastern diplomatic district that is also home to the U.S. Embassy.
Wang said the relatives felt slighted by the failure of the Malaysian officials to appear for the briefing.
A number of Chinese relatives have refused to accept the theory that the plane crashed in the Indian Ocean and insist that Malaysian officials have not told them the truth about the plane’s disappearance.
Australian Defense Minister David Johnston said this week that an announcement was likely next week on the next phase of the search for the Boeing 777 which vanished with 239 passengers and crew — mostly Chinese — on board on March 8 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
He said the next phase was likely to deploy more powerful side-scan sonar equipment that can delve deeper than the Bluefin 21.
On Friday, up to 8 planes and 10 ships were to search for debris over a 49,000 square kilometer (19,000 square mile) ocean expanse 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) northwest of the city of Perth where the search is headquartered, the center said.--AP
25 April 2014| last updated at 02:03PM
MH370 Tragedy: Search likely to take years: US official
SYDNEY: The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is likely to drag on for years, a senior U.S. defence official told Reuters on Friday, as an underwater search for any trace of the plane's wreckage off west Australia appeared to have failed.
The official, speaking under condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to comment on the search effort, said two weeks of scouring the Indian Ocean floor with a U.S. Navy submersible drone had turned up no wreckage.
He said the search for the jetliner, which vanished on March 8 with 239 people on board, would now enter a much harder phase of scouring broader areas of the ocean near where the plane is believed to have crashed.
"We went all in on this small area and didn't find anything. Now you've got to go back to the big area," the official said. "And now you're talking years."
On Friday, the undersea drone Bluefin-21 is expected to finish what may be the last of its 16-hour trips to depths of more than 4.5km (2.8 miles) searching a 10 square km (6.2 square mile) stretch of seabed about 2,000 miles northwest of Perth.
Authorities had identified the area as their strongest lead in determining the plane's final resting place after detecting what they suspected was a signal, or "ping", from the plane's black box recorder on April 4.
But the U.S. official said Malaysia would have to decide how to proceed with the search, including whether to bring in more underwater drones, even with the understanding that the search could continue for years without a refined search area.--Reuters
Friday, 25 April 2014 07:12
MAJOR U-TURN: M'sian PM swerves from previous MH370 'NO SURVIVORS' 'ENDED IN OCEAN' claims, to release report next week
Malaysia's preliminary report into the disappearance of flight MH370 will be released next week, the country's Prime Minister has said.
Najib Razak made the surprise announcement as his government continued to be beseiged by angry families, some of whom refuse to accept the plane was destroyed unless they have hard evidence.
The report has already been sent to the United Nations' International Civil Aviation Organization but not made public.
Mr Razak toldCNN : 'I have directed an internal investigation team of experts to look at the report, and there is a likelihood that next week we could release the report.'
He later confirmed it will be released next week, CNN reported.
Despite seven weeks passing since the Malaysia Airlines jet vanished, Mr Razak declined to say outright that it had been lost for good - 'out of respect' for grieving families.
He told CNN's Richard Quest: 'At some point in time I would be, but right now I think I need to take into account the feelings of the next of kin, and you know some of them have said publicly that they aren't willing to accept it until they find hard evidence.'
The denial came despite Malaysian authorities a month ago telling families definitively - and by text message - that 'none of those on board survived'.
The government has been repeatedly attacked by relatives of passengers, the majority of whom were from China, for not doing enough in its search for the jet.
Mr Razak's announcement came as a tropical cyclone again threatened to hamper a 26-nation air, surface and underwater search of the Indian Ocean.
Anger: A Chinese relative of a passenger on missing flight at a meeting at Metro Park Hotel in Beijing
Chinese relatives of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 rest during a meeting
Reflective: A man stands in front of a billboard as Chinese relatives of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have a meeting at the Metro Park Hotel in Beijing
Airborne searches were partly suspended for the last two days because of heavy rain, strong winds, rough seas thanks to Tropical Cyclone Jack.
The hunt is already the most expensive in aviation history and is focusing on an area where acoustic 'pings' were detected, possibly from the jet's black box recorder, a month after it disappeared.
Key to the mission is the U.S. Navy undersea drone Bluefin-21, which will soon finish scouring a 6.2 square mile stretch of seabed.
Authorities have said if Bluefin-21 fails to find a trace of the plane in its initial target search area, 1,200 miles north west of Perth, it will be redeployed to new areas.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the airliner's probable impact zone was 430 miles long and 50 miles wide.
A new search strategy would be adopted if nothing is found in the current seabed search zone.
Location: The Australian Transport Safety Bureau had been scrutinising photos of the object, which washed ashore six miles east of Augusta in Western Australia state
Search: The Australian Navy launches its Phoenix Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Artemis as part of the search last week. The hunt for missing flight
MH370 has become the most expensive in aviation history
Looking: Captain Flt Lt Tim McAlevey of the Royal New Zealand Air Force flying a P-3 Orion during a search trying to locate missing Malaysia Airways Flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean
‘If at the end of that period we find nothing, we are not going to abandon the search, we may well rethink the search, but we will not rest until we have done everything we can to solve this mystery,’ he said.
Yesterday authorities ruled out any link between debris picked up on an Australian beach and the missing jet.
The debris, found on Wednesday on a beach at the southern tip of Western Australia state, was seen as the first lead since April 4 when the pings were detected.
But it took Australian authorities less than a day to analyse detailed photographs of the beached debris, which included sheet metal with rivets, and dismiss the possibility that it may be linked to the plane.
'We're not seeing anything in this that would lead us to believe that it is from a Boeing aircraft,' said Australian Transport Safety Bureau commissioner Martin Dolan.
An international team is to investigate the disappearance of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 (file photo)
Friday, 25 April 2014 16:34
TENSIONS REIGNITE! Desperate MH370 families protest at M'sian embassy after chaotic meeting with MAS
BEIJING - Dozens of relatives of passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 held an overnight protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing demanding information from officials, two participants said on Friday.
The protest followed a chaotic meeting on Thursday between airline staff and relatives who have been waiting for nearly 50 days without any sighting of the plane, prompting police to step in to separate both sides.
About two-thirds of the 239 passengers aboard the missing plane came from China, and many of their relatives have waited with frustration at a hotel in Beijing for updates, often venting at airline or government officials who come to brief them.
“I spent the whole night outside the embassy, there are still many people waiting outside,” said Wen Wancheng, whose son was on the flight. He estimated that several dozen took part in the protest.
Relatives, who are staying at the hotel at the airline’s expense, previously banned a Malaysian embassy official from attending daily briefings at the hotel, but are now demanding that the embassy send a replacement, Wen said.
Steven Wang, another relative, said about 100 people had waited outside the premises overnight. “We want somebody from the embassy to come out and tell us why they didn’t come,” he added.
Police fanned out around the embassy on Friday morning, barring reporters from nearing the building. Embassy staff were not immediately available for comment.
Chinese relatives have for weeks complained bitterly about what they call Malaysia’s secretive and incompetent handling of the search.
Tensions boiled over at Thursday’s briefing, with some relatives claiming to be on “hunger strike” after airline representatives said a Malaysian embassy official would not arrive to answer their questions.
Nothing has been seen of the plane or its 239 passengers and crew since it vanished off radar screens during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.