Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, right, greets a Royal Australian Air Force P-3 Orion captain Lt. Russell Adams and his crew involved in the search for wreckage and debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 in Perth, Australia, Thursday, April 3, 2014.Najib was in Australia to meet with Australian Prime Minister Tonny Abbott to hold bilateral talks about the missing plane and to attend briefings with crew members. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, Pool) )
Malaysia vows: We will give plane families closure
First Published Apr 03 2014 08:00 am • Last Updated Apr 03 2014 07:08 pm

Perth, Australia • Leaders of the two countries heading multinational efforts to solve the mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 pledged Thursday that no effort would be spared to give the families of those on board the answers they need.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak flew to Australia for briefings on the search for the missing plane and talks with his Australian counterpart, Tony Abbott, whose country is overseeing the hunt in a huge and remote patch of the Indian Ocean.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"It is a very difficult search — the most difficult in human history. But as far as Australia is concerned, we are throwing everything we have at it," Abbott said in a media appearance with Najib.

No trace of the Boeing 777 has been found nearly four weeks after it vanished in the early hours of March 8 on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.

Ten planes and nine ships were involved in search operations Thursday, scouring the ocean far off Australia’s southwest corner where investigators believe the plane may have ended up after unknown events occurred on board.

Najib, whose government has been harshly criticized by some victims’ families for giving sometimes conflicting information about the flight and for the slow pace of the investigation, said everyone involved in the search is thinking of the families of victims who are waiting desperately for news.

"I know that until we find the plane, many families cannot start to grieve," Najib said. "I cannot imagine what they are going through. But I can promise them that we will not give up.

"We want to provide comfort to the families and we will not rest until answers are indeed found. In due time, we will provide a closure for this event," he said.

Najib met with Abbott at the Australian base near Perth that is serving as the hub for the multinational search effort. They were briefed by Angus Houston, the head of a joint agency overseeing the search.

Although Australia is coordinating the ocean search, the investigation into the tragedy ultimately remains Malaysia’s responsibility. Najib said Australia had agreed to be an "accredited representative in the investigation," and would work with Malaysia on a comprehensive agreement on the search.


story continues below
story continues below

On Wednesday, officials warned the investigation may never fully answer why the airliner disappeared. A dearth of information has plagued investigators from the moment the plane’s transponders, which make the plane visible to commercial radar, were shut off.

Military radar picked up the jet just under an hour later, way off course on the other side of the Malay Peninsula. Authorities say that until then, its "movements were consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane," but have not ruled out anything, including mechanical error.

Police are investigating the pilots and crew for any evidence suggesting they may have hijacked or sabotaged the plane. The backgrounds of the passengers have been checked by investigators and nothing suspicious has been found.

The search for the plane began over the Gulf of Thailand and South China Sea, where its last voice communications were, and then shifted west to the Strait of Malacca. Experts then analyzed hourly satellite "handshakes" between the plane and a satellite and now believe it crashed somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean.

Thursday’s search zone was a 223,000-square kilometer (86,000-square mile) patch of ocean 1,680 kilometers (1,040 miles) northwest of Perth, part of a larger area crews have been scouring since last week.

The British navy’s HMS Echo reported one alert as it searched for sonic transmissions from the missing plane’s flight data recorder, but it was quickly discounted as a false alarm, the Joint Agency Coordination Center overseeing the search said Thursday.

False alerts can come from animals such as whales, or interference from shipping noise.

No confirmed trace of the plane’s wreckage has been found. Houston has said there is no timeframe for ending the search, but acknowledged a new approach will eventually be needed if nothing turns up.

Australia’s prime minister said everything that possibly could be done to find the plane would be done, but cautioned, "We cannot be certain of success."

Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, also traveled to Perth, where she met with Danica Weeks, whose husband, Paul Weeks, was among those on Flight 370. Weeks said the meeting gave her some comfort and confidence the Malaysians are committed to finding answers. But she also said the pervasive uncertainty surrounding the plane’s fate had made coping with the loss impossible.

"You cannot grieve for someone unless you have something concrete," Weeks told Australia’s Channel 9.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.