Horrendous weather conditions in the Indian Ocean forced Australia to delay its search mission for flight MH370 for another 24 hours on Tuesday morning. As the vie chief of the Australian Defence Force phrased it to reporters, “We’re not searching for a needle in a haystack. We’re still trying to define where the haystack is.”
While Australia continued its search, executives for Malaysia Airlines, chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yhya and chairman Mohamed Nor Yusof announced that they had also reached the conclusion that the flight was lost and there were no survivors. Malaysia's Prime Minister raised similar beliefs Monday morning.
They also rebuffed earlier reports that family members had been notified of the conclusion via text message, explaining that they contacted people in person or over the phone whenever possible. The texts were a last resort. “Our sole and only motivation last night was to ensure that in the incredibly short amount of time available to us, the families heard the tragic news before the world did.”“Our sole and only motivation last night,” Ahmad Jauhari said, “was to ensure that in the incredibly short amount of time available to us, the families heard the tragic news before the world did.”
The airline said that it is offering $5,000 to families for each passenger lost aboard the aircraft, and was prepared to make additional payments. When asked whether they would resign over the incident, the executives said that that was a personal decision.
In Beijing, angry relatives of Chinese passengers onboard the flight marched outside the Malaysian embassy and protesting the lack of communication they had received throughout this process.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.