Updated Tuesday, 9:26 a.m.:
In a detailed status update on its Facebook page, the Ministry Transport of Malaysia posted more information about the data it received from the British satellite company Inmarsat. The post includes diagrams showing Doppler contributions, MH370 measured data against predicted tracks, and southern tracks for a ground speed of 400 and 450 knots. The post noted that “further work is required to determine the aircraft speed and final position.” Read the full status update here.
Malaysia Airlines announced on Monday that the Boeing 777 that went missing some 16 days ago is presumed to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean with no survivors. The following statement was reportedly sent via SMS message to relatives:
“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 survived. As you will hear in the next hour from Malaysia’s prime minister, we must now accept all evidence suggests the plane went down in the southern Indian Ocean.”
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak held a press conference at 10 p.m. local time, telling reporters that more information about the search for the aircraft will be given on Tuesday, the BBC reported. Experts in the U.K. reportedly told Razak that satellite signals have provided new information about the plane’s flight path. As a result, they concluded that MH370 made its way along the southern corridor, and that its last location was in the southern Indian Ocean. “With deep sadness and regret, according to this new data, we must conclude flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean,” Razak said, according to the Guardian.
According to CNN, some members of the passengers' families were clinging to the possibility that their relatives were still alive, and the news was devastating. "They have told us all lives are lost," one grieving relative told CNN. "My son, my daughter-in-law and granddaughter were all on board. All three family members are gone," said another woman. "I am desperate!"
The information came from the U.K. Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) via satellite data from Inmarsat plc, a British telecom company. The prime minister said he shared the information as early as possible out of a “commitment to openness and respect for the families.” He concluded the brief conference by asking that the media respect the privacy of the families and “allow them the space they need at this difficult time.” He echoed that message in a tweet.
"I urge the media to respect their privacy, and to allow them the space they need at this difficult time." #MH370 - END -
â€” Mohd Najib Tun Razak (@NajibRazak) March 24, 2014
The choice by Malaysia Airlines to inform relatives via text message is already attracting some criticism, with some on Twitter calling it insensitive and impersonal. An image of the text message was posted on Twitter by NBC News reporter Adrienne Mong.
â€” Adrienne Mong (@adriennemong) March 24, 2014