Malaysia Airlines is preparing to collect DNA samples of the families of those on board missing Flight MH370, the company revealed during a briefing session on Tuesday night, The Malaysian Insider reported. The exercise is reportedly similar to the one conducted to identify the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
The company made the announcement during a two-hour session at the Malaysia Airlines Academy, Syafinaz Hasnan, the sister of crew member Mohamad Hazrin Hasnan reportedly said. She added that the company did not mention any specifics about when and how the samples would be collected. The briefing was reportedly attended by nearly 35 family members of passengers and crew of the missing plane.
“They said we now need to provide our DNA samples to the authorities for safekeeping and in case they found the wreckage or remains,” Syafinaz told The Malaysian Insider.
The search for the Boeing 777 has entered its ninth month with no concrete clues as to the whereabouts of the jet, which went missing on March 8 with 239 people on board during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Malaysian authorities had reportedly assigned 16 task groups, including officials from the health ministry and local police, to obtain DNA samples from family members of the passengers of Flight MH17, which was brought down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 people on board. DNA samples of the foreign nationals aboard the plane were reportedly collected by the ministry and police of their respective countries. The DNA helped identify the victims before handing over the bodies to their families.
Families of Flight MH370's passengers reportedly described Tuesday’s briefing as “pointless” because they did not hear anything that they were not aware of.
“There's practically no new information. We were shown slides of the seventh arc where the plane is suspected to be, the seabed and how it looked like,” Syafinaz reportedly said.
"Everything was too technical. The other families and I were clueless as to the objective of all this. What are they trying to tell us? I just wish they could use layman's term instead of all the jargons and technical terms,” Syafinaz added.
Investigators believe that the final resting place of the missing plane could be along the seventh arc, which has been described as “a thin but long line that includes all the possible points where the last known communication between the aircraft and the communication satellite could have taken place.”
On Monday, Malaysia Airlines received a two-week extension to prepare its defense in a lawsuit filed by the family of a passenger on board Flight MH370. The company and four other agencies have been sued for breach of contract and negligence.