Mystery of Malaysia Airlines flight may never be solved: police chief
- April 02, 2014
THE investigation into what happened to Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 may take a long time and may never determine the cause of the tragedy, Malaysia’s national police chief has warned.Khalid Abu Bakar said the criminal investigation was still focused on four areas — hijacking, sabotage and personal or psychological problems of those on board the plane.
“Investigations may go on and on and on. We have to clear every little thing,’’ Mr Khalid said. “At the end of the investigations, we may not even know the real cause. We may not even know the reason for this incident.’’
The plane disappeared on March 8 on a flight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 on board, including six Australians. No trace of the plane has been found, although searchers are now focused on a crash site in the southern Indian Ocean.
Today a British navy submarine joined up to 10 planes and nine ships already searching for the wreckage of flight MH370 in a vast area of the Indian Ocean about 1500km west of Perth.
Mr Khalid said that police had conducted more than 170 interviews with family members of the pilots and crew members. “We must be very thorough and we need all the time ... you cannot hurry us,’’ he said.
Police are also investigating the cargo and even the food served on the plane to eliminate possible sabotage, he said.
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Relatives of the passengers have been critical of the handling of the search for the plane, especially as the focus of the hunt has shifted.
After experts analysed the limited radar and satellite data from the plane, the search area was moved from the seas off Vietnam, to several areas in the Indian Ocean west of Australia, and finally to a 254,000 sq km area roughly a two hour flight from Perth.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was expected in Perth today, where he will meet with Tony Abbott and visit the joint agency coordinating the multinational search effort.
Mr Abbott reiterated his commitment to the search.
“Look, it’s one of the great mysteries of our time,’’ the Prime Minister told Perth Radio 6iX. “It’s a terrible tragedy. There are 239 devastated families. ... We owe it to the world, we owe it to those families to do whatever we reasonably can do get to the bottom of this.’’
The search for the missing plane and for the “black box” flight recorders which may explain what happened has been bolstered by the arrival of British submarine HMS Tireless and another British navy vessel, HMS Echo.
“British nuclear submarine HMS Tireless and survey ship HMS Echo have arrived in search area for MH370,’’ Britain’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, Simon Featherstone, said on Twitter.
While planes, ships and helicopters have been deployed to search for the crashed jet, HMS Tireless is the first submarine to be drafted in to help scour the search area.
The federal government’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said nine military planes would assist in the search on Wednesday, with one civil jet providing a communications relay.
JACC said nine ships would also be out searching.
The weather forecast is for “marginal conditions’’, with areas of broken cloud, sea fog and isolated thunderstorms, reducing visibility, JACC added.
Australian defence vessel Ocean Shield is expected to reach the search zone on Friday with a pinger locator to find flight MH370’s black box.