Flight MH370 search continues
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Reporting: He Shan, Zhang Ming’ai, Ma Yujia, Wu Jin, Chris Parker, Lin Liyao, Li Shen, Zhang Junmian.
9:30 pm: That concludes this live blog. Thank you for staying with us. We will renew our live coverage as new information emerges.
8:56 pm: Air crew searching for signs of Malaysia Airlines flight MH307 had to cut short another fruitless day scouring the southern Indian Ocean Thursday due to bad weather as Thai authorities announced a major new satellite lead.
8:49 pm: More from the BBC’s Jonathan Head in Perth: Because no aircraft have yet been able to locate any of the objects seen in several satellite images, it is impossible for the five ships now on station in the area to try to retrieve them for identification.Aqua Run 56
8:16 pm: Malaysian police have opened an investigation into the pilots of flight MH370 in light of a number of revelations.
The son of pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, however, tells the New Straits Times that he has “ignored all the speculation” against his father. “I know my father better,” Ahmad Seth says.
7:56 pm: A Japanese satellite spotted suspicious objects possibly related to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean, Japan’s Kyodo News reported Thursday.
7:53 pm: Zhang Yesui, Chinese special envoy and also China’s deputy foreign minister, told the relatives of some of the Chinese passengers that China has employed vast resources in the search, including 21 satellites, over 10 ships and dozens of plane sorties. China will continue to ask Malaysia to accurately inform the relatives of the passengers about the search and investigation progress in a timely manner, he said.
7:03 pm: Malaysia’s transport ministry says it is “in the process of sending a team” to Perth, which will be made up of representatives from Malaysia Airlines, the aviation ministry, the Royal Malaysian navy and air force. The team will closely work with Australia to assist in the search operation, the ministry says.
7:02 pm: Malaysia’s ministry of transport said Zhang Yesui met Chinese relatives of passengers on the missing plane who are currently in Kuala Lumpur.
7:00 pm: “Malaysian officials met with Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang to request the government of China to engage and clarify the actual situation to the affected families in particular and the Chinese public in general,” the statement added.
6:59 pm: “Malaysia is committed to working closely with the government of China and to sharing all information related to MH370 in full,” the recent statement from Malaysia’s ministry of transport says.
“Malaysia is working hard to try and make the briefings to the Chinese relatives in Beijing more productive,” it added.
6:57 pm: According to the statement, the planned area of search today was 16,298 square nautical miles in the West sector, and 6,506 square nautical miles in the East sector. The area identified by the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) yesterday – where the 122 potential objects were sighted – was also due to be searched today. But the weather deteriorated and the search was suspended.
6:56 pm: The statement says that the special Chinese envoy, Zhang Yesui met with the Malaysian PM, the Acting Minister of Transport and the Minister of Defence yesterday. Zhang was given a comprehensive technical briefing by the international working group, led by the AAIB. Inmarsat’s findings – which led to the conclusion that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean – were explained.
6:55 pm: According to the recent statement from Malaysia’s ministry of transport, the Malaysian high-level team also met with the Chinese relatives of those on board MH370 who are based in Beijing, for the fourth time yesterday. Over the duration of the three hour meeting, the relatives received a technical briefing and an update on the search operation. The high-level team also answered questions.
6:54 pm: A high-level Malaysian team met Chinese relatives of those on board Flight MH370 at 15:25 for a briefing.
6:34 pm: LY.com and eLong, two Chinese online travel service providers, announced Today that they will stop selling the Malaysia Airlines’ tickets and tourism products for an indefinite period of time until the airline finds out the truth about the missing Flight MH370 and gives the family members of the passengers on board a satisfactory answer.
Elong said two passengers on board the missing plane bought their tickets via its website. The company will offer the family of each passenger condolence payments of 100,000 yuan (US$16,129).
LY.com said that all clients who have booked the airline’s tickets and relevant outbound tourism products via LY.com website may apply to cancel their orders. Despite the airline has no refund policies, LY.com will offer them full compensation.
5:21 pm: Neither the Malaysian government nor Malaysia Airlines will hold a press conference on Thursday. However, the Malaysian authorities are expected to provide a written statement with the latest developments.
5:17 pm: Anond Snidvongs, executive director of Geo Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, confirmed to the BBC that Thailand’s Thaichote satellite spotted around 200-300 objects in the southern Indian Ocean on Monday. The objects range in size from 2m to 16m. This information was sent to the Malaysian remote sensing agency on Wednesday, the agency said.
They cannot confirm whether the objects are related to the missing plane.
5:11 pm: Eight planes reached the zone but there was no visibility, Australian officials said. The planes are now returning to base. Ships will stay in the search area and try to continue the search.
5:08 pm: To recap: The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane has been suspended due to bad weather conditions.
Lt Cmdr Adam Schantz, in charge of the US Navy’s Poseidon P8 plane, said: “The forecast in the area was calling for severe icing, severe turbulence and near-zero visibility.”
4:30 pm: According to a press conference held by the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, China’s No. 17 escort fleet has set out to search for the ill-fated MH370 jetliner ahead of schedule. So far, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has sent three naval vessels, two helicopters and two air freighters to search the sea west of Australia.
In addition, the Jinggangshan landing ship and Yongxing Island ocean-going lifeboat are cruising to the target area of the Indian Ocean. In the meantime, China has deployed 10 military satellites for the search.
4:22 pm: The floating objects were identified by Thailand’s Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency. It said that the objects ranged from two to 15 metres in size, scattered over an area about 2,700 km southwest of Perth, AFP reports.
4:14 pm: Thai newspaper The Nation also reports that images from a Thai satellite show 300 “floating objects” in the Indian Ocean, about 200km from the search area. The images have been submitted to the government, the report adds.
4:13 pm: AFP news agency reports: “Thailand says satellite images show 300 floating objects in jet search.” There are no further details yet.
4:08 pm: An Australian oceanographer is hopeful that scientists can calculate the presumed crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 to within 10,000 square km in the southern Indian Ocean.
4:01 pm: Chinese special envoy Zhang Yesui met on Thursday with relatives of Chinese passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
4:00 pm: Chari Pattiaratchi, chief oceanographer from the University of Western Australia, disagreed with the hypothesis that flight MH370 probably crashed near an underwater volcanic chain. However, he admitted that the search and rescue would be very difficult in the target area, located at a latitutde of 40 degrees south. The weather there is very bad, compounded by storms and turbulences.
3:49 pm: US law firm Ribbeck Law is preparing to take legal action against Boeing and Malaysia Airlines. They have filed papers in a Chicago court, trying to secure evidence of possible design and manufacturing defects. Paul Ng, head of aviation at law firm Stephenson Harwood, told the BBC it was currently “somewhat of a fishing exercise” to help the law firm decide what steps to take next.
3:47 pm: Malaysian minister Shahidan Kassim has told the parliament that his government will consider setting up a royal commission of inquiry into the MH370 tragedy after the flight recorder and black box data have been retrieved, Malaysiakini website reports.
3: 19 pm: The Malaysian government cancelled a regular press conference which was expected to be held this afternoon in Kuala Lumpur. Another news conference to be held by Malaysia Airlines has also been cancelled without any explanation, though Hishammuddin Hussein, the acting Malaysian Transport Minister, revealed yesterday in his press conference that the airline would meet the press today.
2:44 pm: MH370’s black box has 10 days left before the battery life runs out.
2:30 pm: The search area is “home to the strongest current in the world,” Dr Erik Van Sebille, an oceanographer from the University of New South Wales, tells the BBC. “Every day debris could move by easily 50, 100 km… this ocean is full of what we call ‘eddies’, and they’re essentially mini hurricanes that spread everything out.”
2:27 pm: US Today reports that the pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet is believed to be solely responsible for the flight being taken hundreds of miles off course and there is no evidence of a mechanical failure or hijacking by a passenger, according to an law enforcement official involved in the investigation.
2:25 pm: Chinese insurance companies said on Thursday they have begun paying compensation to the families of passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Read more.
2:17 pm: @AMSA_News
Update: Ships staying in search area & will attempt to continue searching but all planes returning. Bad weather expected for next 24 hours.
2:03 pm: Several members of the 14-member Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, The Star Online reported.
LIAM president Vincent Kwo said next-of-kin can file in their life insurance claims now without having to wait for the death certificate.
1:57 pm: Formula One teams and officials are planning to honour passengers of the missing plane during this weekend’s Malaysia Grand Prix, says the AP news agency.
1:40 pm: Key points of today’s live coverage on the search for MH370
-The search for possible debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight has been suspended due to bad weather
-Five ships and 11 planes were to search the southern Indian Ocean for signs of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370
-On Wednesday, fresh satellite images identified 122 “potential objects” around 2,557km from Perth
1:36 pm: Lieutenant Commander Adam Schantz, who is in charge of the US Navy Poseidon P8 aircraft detachment, told Reuters “the forecast in the area was calling for severe icing, severe turbulence and near zero visibility”.
“Anybody who’s out there is coming home and all additional sorties from here are cancelled,” he said.
1:33 pm: NBC Chief Global Correspondent @BillNeelyNBC
Bad weather could scatter 122 pieces of debris spotted by French Satellite on Sunday. Experts say currents can carry objects 50 miles a day.
1:30 pm: Relatives of a passenger onboard the flight MH370 sued Malaysia Airlines and Boeing Company in a U.S. court today, requiring the two companies to release 26 pieces of information about the incident. This is the first lawsuit filed concerning the missing flight MH370. It is expected that the two companies involved in the incident will have to pay up to US$1.5 billion.
12:49 pm: @ AMSA_News
# Flight MH370 Today’s search operations have been suspended due to bad weather. All planes are returning to Perth & ships are leaving search area.
12:39 pm: Analysts say Malaysia Airlines’ future now hangs in the balance — and it may take a government rescue to save the company from financial disaster, according to a CNN report.
12:35 pm: Reuters reports that aircraft and ships scouring the southern Indian Ocean for wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 were racing to beat bad weather on Thursday and reach an area where new satellite images showed what could be a debris field.
11:23 am: Perth Mayor Lisa Scaffidi told Xinhua Thursday that preparations in the Western Australia state capital of Perth for the arrival of Chinese and other families of those on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are “well in train.”
Perth is already having high-level meetings looking at the logistical arrangements that will be required to suitably accommodate and deal with this group of people plus all the ongoing forensic elements that might be a part of this.
From the city government perspective, I see our role as being more ambassadorial and one of support. We’ve already put e-mails out to ascertain how many people would be prepared to be Chinese translators for those who might be coming here and for other forms of assistance.
11:01 am: A@AMSA_News
#MH370 search operations are now underway. Today’s search area covers a total of 78,000 sq km.
10:52 am: MH370 – Facts at a glance
- March 8 – Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur-Beijing flight carrying 239 people went missing
- Plane’s transponder, which sends out location data, was switched off as it left Malaysian airspace
- Satellite ‘pings’ indicate plane was still flying seven hours after satellite contact was lost
- March 16 – first satellite image of potential debris in southern Indian Ocean
- March 24 – Based on new calculations, Malaysian PM says “beyond reasonable doubt” that plane crashed in southern Indian Ocean with no survivors
10;47 am: To date, not a single piece of wreckage linked to the missing plane has been recovered.
10:45 am: Six military aircraft, five civilian aircraft and five ships are taking part in Thursday’s operations, Australian maritime officials said.