Australia has concluded that the Malaysian passenger jet missing since early March likely crashed into the Indian Ocean after running out of fuel.
The Australian report Tuesday said the conclusion was based on analysis of the final brief data exchange between the jet with 239 people aboard and a satellite monitoring air traffic.
The report came as Malaysia released 45 pages of raw satellite data collected by Britain’s Inmarsat telecommunications company used to calculate the suspected crash site, believed to be off the western coast of Australia. Flight 370 had been headed from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it disappeared in the early hours of March 8, but weeks of intensive air and sea searches have found no trace of the Boeing 777.
Relatives of the missing people had demanded the release of the satellite data, so independent analysts can try to determine whether searchers have been looking in the right location. But some air safety analysts said the newly released information is still incomplete. A relative of a missing passenger, Steve Wang, also found the new information lacking.
“Well, since I have already looked at the report, it only contains the data, but what we want is the full version of the Inmarsat report including the data, and also the way how you calculate. The method and the formula you use. That is also very important, because only simply data means nothing. Only data cannot lead to the conclusion, only data cannot lead to the ending. There must be other analyzing and we want to see the full version of the report,” he said.
A Malaysia-led international investigation team used the data to determine the plane crashed in the southern Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia.
The plane disappeared without any distress calls, about half an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian officials believe someone with knowledge of flight systems intentionally diverted the jet.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.