UPDATED ON 6: Malaysian Air Flight 370 Confirmed To Have Crashed Into The Indian Ocean
By ABC News
Photo of search for downed Malaysian Air Flight 370 (Credit: ABC News)
New York -
***UPDATED at 3:19 P.M. on Monday, March 24th***
The fate of Malaysia Air Flight 370 has been confirmed.
"It is with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, Flight MH 370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean," Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said at a Monday morning press conference.
The somber prime minister said groundbreaking analysis of satellite data finally gives new certainty about the flight's path. "This is a remote destination, far from any possible land," Razak said.
Search planes and ships are closing in on the area, 1,500 miles off Australia's coast. Teams there have already spotted floating debris. High-tech cameras took pictures from the sky, as crews threw flares to mark the spot.
"The crew on board the Orion reported seeing two objects. The first...a grey or green circular object and the second...an orange rectangular object," said Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
This Australian Navy supply ship, named the "Success", is racing to pull the items from the water. Then, investigators will determine if they're part of that Boeing 777.
Meanwhile, families of the 239 passengers and crew have found some closure, but are still asking "why?".
The race is on to find where the plane hit the water and those critical black boxes.
"The real answers to the mystery of this airplane crash lie 700 miles back to the West, wherever the airplane hit the water, at the bottom of the ocean," said Colonel Steven Ganyard, and ABC News aviation consultant.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ***UPDATED at 11:51 A.M. on Monday, March 24th***
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says a new analysis of satellite data indicates the missing Malaysia Airlines plane plunged into a remote corner of the Indian Ocean.
The news is a major breakthrough in the unprecedented two-week struggle to find out what happened to Flight 370, which disappeared shortly after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew aboard on March 8th.
Dressed in a black suit, Najib announced the news "with deep sadness and regret" in a brief news conference late Monday night.
He said Malaysia Airlines has informed the families of passengers of the plane's fate.
Najib said the information was based on an unprecedented analysis of satellite data from Inmarsat.
Chinese and Australian planes have spotted several objects in an area of the southern Indian Ocean identified by multiple satellite images as containing possible debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the crew on board an Australian P3 Orion located two objects - the first grey or green and circular, the second orange and rectangular.
An Australian navy supply ship is on the scene trying to locate and recover the objects, and Malaysia's defense minister says it could reach them within a few hours.
Meanwhile, the Xinhua News Agency reports the Chinese crew saw two large objects and several smaller ones spread across several square miles. China's foreign ministry says a white, square-shaped object was captured on a camera aboard the plane.
U.S. Pacific Command is sending a black box locator to the area. It can hear the black box "pinger" down to a depth of about 20,000 feet.
"It's possible that HMAS Success could pick up the objects within the next few hours or by tomorrow morning at the latest. It is currently the only vessel in the search area," Malaysia's Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said during a news conference, adding that they are working to "narrow the search area."
He said some 18,500-square nautical miles had been searched Sunday, while another 20,000 were scoured Monday.
"There are new leads, but nothing conclusive," Hussein said in describing the possible debris spotted by the Australians.
The announcement came only hours after other "suspicious objects" had been spotted by a Chinese aircraft within the search area while searching for missing jetliner, but could not subsequently be located by the U.S. Navy, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.
The crew aboard an IL-76 plane spotted the two relatively big floating objects with many white smaller ones scattered over several square miles within the search area, according to China's Xinhua News Agency. The U.S. Navy's P-8 Poseidon was unable to subsequently locate the objects.