Two years after the disappearance of MH370, investigators are still yet to arrive at any conclusions over the plane’s fate, they said Tuesday, indicating that what happened to the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 remains a mystery.
“At this time, the team is continuing to work towards finalising its analysis, findings, conclusions and safety recommendations on eight relevant areas associated with the disappearance of flight MH370 based on relevant information,” the international team probing the plane’s disappearance said in a statement, read out on state television by lead investigator Kok Soo Choon.
The team, led by Malaysia and including experts from the United States, Britain, China, France and Australia, said the eight areas being looked into included the plane’s diversion from its flight plan, crew profiles, airworthiness and maintenance of the aircraft as well as the aircraft cargo consignment.
It said it was also considering additional wreckage and impact information based on the discovery of a wing part, known as a flaperon, in July last year.
The Boeing 777-200ER plane vanished from radar screens shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, bound for Beijing, early on March 8, 2014, becoming one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history.
Investigators believe the plane, with 239 passengers and crew on board, was flown thousands of miles off course before crashing into the ocean off Australia.
But a vast search effort that has scoured thousands of square kilometres of the seabed has yet to turn up any results.
More possible debris found
The flaperon, washed up on Reunion Island off Madagascar, has been the only confirmed piece of wreckage from the aircraft to be found so far.
However, two more possible pieces of wreckage have been found in recent days, raising hopes they may lead to more information about the plane’s fate.
The first piece was discovered on a beach on the African east coast nation of Mozambique by a US citizen on February 27.
Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai has said there is a "high" probability that the part is from a Boeing 777, the same model of plane as MH370.
Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester said the location of the debris matches investigators' drift modelling and would therefore confirm that search crews are looking in the right place for the main underwater wreckage.
The second piece, described as a square-shaped gray item with blue border measuring 40 by 40 centimetres, was found in Reunion Island by the same local resident who discovered the flaperon and in almost exactly the same spot.
Both pieces of possible wreckage are being looked at by investigators to determine if they are indeed from MH370.
Meanwhile, the search for the wreckage is still ongoing, with some 120,000 sq km (46,300 sq miles) of the sea floor being scoured at a cost of about A$170 million (€114.56 million).
The investigatory team said a full report of its work would only be released in the event wreckage of the aircraft is found or the search ended, whichever comes first.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement the search was expected to be completed later this year, and he remained hopeful the aircraft would be found.
“If it is not, then Malaysia, Australia and China will hold a tripartite meeting to determine the way forward,” he said.
Investigators said in a report released a year ago there was nothing suspicious in the financial, medical or personal histories of pilots or crew
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP, AP)
Date created : 2016-03-08