Search resumes after Flight MH370 declared ‘lost’
Editor’s note: The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft in the Australian Search and Rescue Region has resumed this morning, with further aircraft joining the operation out of Perth.
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Reporting: Chen Boyuan, Zhang Lulu, Wang Qian, Zhang Ming’ai, Lin Liyao, Ma Yujia, Chris Parker, Huang Shan, He Shan, Zhang Fang, Wu Jin, Li Shen, Elsbeth van Paridon
9:10 pm: That concludes this live blog. Thank you for staying with us. We will renew our live coverage as new information emerges.
8:51 pm: The black box locator deployed from the U.S. Pacific Fleet has arrived in Perth, Australia. The locator will be installed on the Australian searching vessels. However, according to the Malaysian authorities, the locator will be sent out to the targeted sea area on April 5 at the earliest.
8:40 pm: The black box battery is due to expire with less than two weeks, before ending its locator signal, searchers are in a race against time to calculate a precise search area where the vessel-towed locator should be deployed.
8:37 pm: A Malaysian high-rank military officer said he was thinking every day about the reasons why the plane would have flown towards the southern India Ocean as he communicated with the relatives of those on board the missing flight. He said the Malaysian ambassador and his group would do anything in their power to relieve the relatives’ dissatisfaction and try their best to find the plane.
7:28 pm: Chinese special envoy Zhang Yesui on Wednesday stressed the urgency of continuing to search with full force for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
7:21 pm: The Guardian: The British company Inmarsat said it is unable to comment on reports that the British experts have refused to take part in a briefing with Malaysian officials to relatives of the passengers in Beijing.
In a statement it said: “Inmarsat is working with Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) on this live investigation and is therefore unable to discuss the circumstances surrounding Air Malaysia.
7:17 pm: Malaysia’s acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said, quoted by BBC, that during the media briefing earlier: “It must be emphasised that we cannot tell whether the potential objects are from MH370. Nevertheless, this is another new lead that will help direct the search operation.”
7:00 pm: Malaysia’s acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said during a media briefing earlier that 12 planes and two ships will be travelling to the search area in the southern Indian Ocean. He also said that Malaysia Airlines was “now taking a lead in communicating with the families and is conducting their own press conferences”.
6:55pm: Cracking sunset at Pearce Air Force Base. Waiting for aircraft to slowly start arriving back from ocean search #MH370 pic, reported by BBC.
6:48 pm: The Japanese aircraft P3 Orion was spotted on the Pearce Air Force Base at around 4:00 p.m. Beijing time on Mar. 26. According to the Japanese search commander, two Japanese planes are assigned to find the debris and floating objects of missing flight MH370.6:40 pm:Malaysia’s acting transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein said that Australia has divided the search area in the southern Indian Ocean into two sectors. A P8 Poseidon from the US is among those conducting the search in the west sector.
6:35 pm: The Malaysian minister of Transport Hishammuddin Hussein said in the press briefing that the search is now focusing on retrieving the black box. Whatever speculation there may be, Malaysia is unswervingly confident in the search and is narrowing down the location of the plane.
6:33 pm: Families of the people aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will be given free visas if they wish to come to Australia during the search and recovery operation, the immigration authority said Wednesday.
6:18 pm: Chinese icebreaker Xuelong and warship Qiandaohu teamed up Wednesday to search for a 2-meter floating object an aircraft reported in the afternoon while searching for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.6:16 pm:Hishammuddin Hussein said 122 “potential objects” had been seen around 2,557km from Perth based on new French satellite images. He called it a new lead but said investigators did not know whether it was linked to the missing plane.
6:14 pm: Malaysia’s acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said: “It must be emphasised that we cannot tell whether the potential objects are from MH370. Nevertheless, this is another new lead that will help direct the search operation.”
6:10 pm: @AMSA tweets: 3 objects spotted in #MH370 search. Civil a/craft spotted 2 objects-likely rope. NZ P3K-a blue object. None relocated on further passes. None distinctive of #MH370 or satellite imagery.
6:09 pm: Satellite images from France show 122 objects in the waters of the southern Indian Ocean near the search zone, acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says. One object is up to 23m in length, he added.
6:07 pm: Malaysian authorities is giving press briefing. Malaysia’s acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says they have received new satellite images.
6:04 pm: Family members of Chinese passengers on board flight MH370, represented by a committee called the “Malaysia Airlines MH370 Family Members Committee,” issued their third statement around 3:00p.m. today on Sina Weibo (China’s equivalent of Twitter), accusing Malaysia Airlines of not fulfilling their promises to take care of them, as well as condemning the lack of communication between both sides.
6:00 pm: One relative of a passenger on the missing plane asked a Malaysian military officer, “How did you conclude that the plane ended up in the southern Indian Ocean if you cannot read the satellite data?” during the technical briefing. The spokesman replied that a senior commission from an international institute had briefed Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The relative continued, “Why did you announce the destiny of the flight MH370 simply based on the British satellite data?” The spokesman then said that he would need to confirm his response to this question with others first.
5:23 pm: Chinese special envoy Zhang Yesui met in Kuala Lumpur Wednesday with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and called for unremitting efforts in searching for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
5:00 pm: @ Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia tweets: Had a meeting w/ PRC’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Zhang Yesui at Parliament earlier today #MH370
4:42 pm: The family members of the passengers on the plane are being given a technical briefing at the Lido hotel in Beijing. A BBC reporter interviewed Steven Wang, a representative of the “family members’ committee”, before the briefing started.
Mr Wang said he would listen to the briefing, but that he thought “they will lie again”. None of the family members had plans to travel to Perth yet, he added. “Nobody told us we could go to Australia.”
4:35 pm: More Chinese military and civilian vessels are en route to the southern Indian Ocean for the search mission.
4:31 pm: Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah sent separate messages of condolence to Chinese President Xi Jinping and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Wednesday following the recent announcement that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 had been lost in the southern Indian Ocean.
4:27 pm：Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says authorities are “throwing everything we have” at the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
4:05 pm: In a welcome expression of solidarity Wednesday, Premier of Western Australia (WA), Colin Barnett, said that his government would do everything possible to support and welcome families from China and around the world — should they choose to make the difficult journey to state capital Perth where the largest ever multinational armada continues to search for signs of MH370.
4:00 pm: Chinese warship Jinggangshan is cruising at full throttle toward the patch of the southern Indian Ocean where an intensive search is under way for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
3:57 pm: AFP: The University of New South Wales oceanographer Erik van Sebille said the crash site was in an area known as “the Roaring Forties’’, notorious among mariners for its hostile seas.
“In general, this is the windiest and waviest part of the ocean,’’ he said. “In winter, if a storm passes by you can expect waves of 10-15 metres.’’
3:55 pm: CNNMoney: A Chicago-based attorney has taken the first formal legal steps related to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the opening shot in what promises to be a sustained litigation campaign.
3:32 pm: RAAF Base Pearce: The search for Missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 could be suspended again as soon as Thursday with weather conditions expected to rapidly deteriorate again.
3:28 pm: China CYTS Tours Holding Co., Ltd., one of China’s largest touring companies, announced Wednesday morning that it would put a temporary stop to a package developed with Malaysia Airlines, due to the flight MH370 incident.
The number of Chinese tourists traveling to Malaysia has dropped to a record low in the last two weeks. Industry insiders predict that the number of Chinese tourists traveling to Malaysia in 2014 may fall by 400,000 to 800,000 people, which may cause losses of up to US$4 to 8 billion to the Malaysian tourist industry.
2:32 pm: @ AMSA tweets: Seven aircraft now in #Flight MH370 search area. Another four aircraft en route.
2:19 pm: Following coordination by radio from the Australian rescue center, aircraft in the search zone off Australia’s west coast will report to the Xuelong (Snow Dragon) with their call sign, time of entry and exit, altitude and their findings. If any of the aircraft spot suspicious objects, the captain of the Xuelong will move the vessel to follow the new leads.
2:17 pm: Family members of Chinese passengers on board the flight MH370, represented by a committee called the “Malaysia Airlines MH370 Family Members Committee” posted Wednesday on Sina Weibo (China’s equivalent of Twitter) that Malaysia Airlines staff in Beijing have disappeared after the announcement that the plane “ended in the South Indian Ocean” made by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on March 24.
“Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said that they arranged 700 volunteers to take care of the 900 family members in the press briefing held on March 25, but all the staff in the five hotels in Beijing have mysteriously disappeared. Did they also get lost?” the post read.1:36 pm: New Zealand Herald:The captain of Flight 370 was in no state of mind to fly the day it disappeared and could have taken the Boeing 777 for a “last joyride” before crashing into the Indian Ocean, a fellow pilot says.
Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah’s world was crumbling, said the long-time associate. He had been facing serious family problems, including separation from his wife and relationship problems with another woman he was seeing.
1:33 pm: Chinese special envoy Zhang Yesui met in Kuala Lumpur Wednesday with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak for discussions over the matter of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
1:30 pm: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he is confident debris from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will be recovered, as he expressed deep regret at the loss of 239 lives in the tragedy, Sydney Morning Herald reported.
1:20 pm: The mission area for the PLA naval fleet is about 29,000 square km near 96 degrees east longitude and 43 degrees south latitude. The crews combined visual search with other means such as radar and optical equipment, and sent helicopters up to carry out airborne observation.
12:25 pm: @AMSA_News
Four Chinese ships are now in #MH370 search area with HMAS Success. Five aircraft on scene.
12:18 pm: @ Malaysia Airlines
We’re deeply saddened by the loss of #MH370. Our prayers & condolences are with the families in this moment of sorrow
11:31 am: Australian Defense Minister David Johnston said the search was one of the largest maritime surveillance operations in history.
Remember, this part of the world, this Southern Ocean, has shipwrecked many, many sailors in our history in Western Australia.
There are 20-metre to 30-metre waves. It is very, very dangerous, even for big, Panamax class ships.
11:29 am: China’s Ministry of Defense has responded to a rumor claiming that China has sent a military team to launch an independent investigation of the loss of MH370. The MOD said the report was “untrue,” since the primary task is still to find the wreckage. The MOD said that the PLA will actively participate in all necessary tasks that are given by the central authorities.
11:21 am: Some Chinese celebrities have voiced their dissatisfaction with Malaysia’s handling of the missing flight MH370 by posting messages on Sina Weibo (China’s version of Twitter). Zhang Ziyi, one of China’s most famous film actresses, said of the Malaysian government, “You are wrong. You miscalculated the international responsibility a government should take, you miscalculated the awe politics should hold for life, and you miscalculated the pursuit by the citizens of the world, including the Chinese people, for truth.” The post has been forwarded more than 11,000 times.
11:08: To recap: The suspicious floating object detected by China’s satellite on March 18 and the suspicious debris spotted by a Australian satellite on March 16 may not be the same objects, China’s National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center said Tuesday.11:06 am: Several members from the expedition team of the icebreaking research vessel Snow Dragon (Xue Long) will help with communication between the icebreaker and the twelve aircraft that scour the sea off the west coast of Australia.
11:05 am: The Dolphin helicopter on the Snow Dragon (Xue Long) is highly unlikely to take off today as the sea conditions are too rough and the ship is not stable enough to allow for a take-off. Captain Wang Jianzhong suggested that the icebreaker will head off after the aircraft have identified a target.
11:02 am: A PLA naval fleet consisting of three ships: the Qiandaohu, the Kunlunshan and the Haikou, along with two shipborne helicopters, has reached the search area, some 1,100 nautical miles southwest of Perth in the Indian Ocean, at 7:00 A.M today, after six days of high speed sailing.10:55 am:Insiders say the disappearance of flight MH370 could be a dagger in the heart for the airline. The airline’s liabilities for flight MH370 could top about 40 million dollars.
10:54 am: Malaysia Airlines has been bleeding red ink in recent years and the MH370 tragedy has made the airline’s problems even worse. The airline has reported losses in the past three years despite operational adjustments and cost cuts.
10:48 am: Mark Binskin, vice chief of the Australian Defence Force, said,
We’re not searching for a needle in a haystack. We’re still trying to define where the haystack is.
10:29 am: With a four-hour flight covering 2,500 km each way, the 12 aircraft from six nations will have about two hours each over the search area, so the staggered departures allow newly arrived aircraft to take over monitoring if another aircraft spots objects in the water.
10:20 am: Chinese journalists covering the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 from Canberra are furious at what they see as Australian government control of the media, Sydney Morning Herald reported.
10:09 am: Three others are currently en route, tweeted the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which earlier said a total of seven military and five civilian aircraft will join Wednesday’s search.
10:08 am: Four aircraft have flown into position in the southern Indian Ocean to search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, Australian maritime authorities said Wednesday morning.
9:44 am: Engineers work at console cabinet of Inmarsat for MH730 data in London
9:30 am: @ Another User
Considering that the black box holds data for the last 2 hours only, the mistery of #mh370 will be very difficult to resolve.
9:15 am: A Chinese IL-76 aircraft reached the target area in the southern Indian Ocean on Wednesday morning and has begun searching for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.9:09 am: China’s icebreaker, the Snow Dragon (Xuelong), arrived today in the place where Chinese aircraft spotted floating objects suspected to be part of the missing flight MH370.
9:06 am: He continued:
I think they have made an honest attempt to try to run a very complex investigation, but I think people will draw their own conclusions.
9:05 am: Talking about the “rash” conclusion, Chris Mclaughlin, senior vice president of Inmarsat, told Xinhua:
I think they have struggled with an awful lot of information and awful lot of challenges. They don’t have the powerful navy and airforce that China has. They don’t have the power of processing and the rich that the America has. It is struggling with something so complex.
9:04 am: The Malaysian authorities have struggled with an awful lot of information and challenges, as their capability of handling such a complex investigation was limited, an official from Inmarsat told Xinhua on Tuesday.
9:00 am: Chinese aircraft resumed search Wednesday in the southern Indian Ocean for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
8:59 am: The United States was approaching a British company for satellite data to conduct its own analysis in order to corroborate the company’s conclusion that the missing Malaysian jetliner had “ended” or crashed in the Indian Ocean, the State Department said Tuesday.
Spokeswoman Marie Harf said at a regular news briefing,
We are in touch with both the Malaysian government about their calculations and the British company about their images to see if we can independently confirm their data analysis through our own data analysis.
8:57 am: The latest media release from AMSA
8:55 am: AMSA: A total of six countries are now assisting in the search and recovery operation – Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea.
8:54 am: AMSA: Today’s search is split into three areas within the same proximity covering a cumulative 80,000 square kilometres.
8:45 am: AMSA: Four aircraft have now departed Perth for the #MH370 search area. HMAS Success and Xue Long now in search area.
8:42 am: Search for any signs of the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft in the Australian Search and Rescue Region is now underway, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in a statement on Wednesday.
8:40 am: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday urged Malaysia to provide detailed and accurate information about the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
8:36 am: Welcome to our live page on the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.