Flight 370 passenger’s relative: ‘All lives are lost’ – CNN

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Flight 370 passenger’s relative: ‘All lives are lost’ – CNNby wpjljron.Flight 370 passenger’s relative: ‘All lives are lost’ – CNN(CNN) — Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went down over the southern Indian Ocean, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Monday, citing a new analysis of satellite data by a British satellite company and accident investigators, and apparently ending hopes that anyone survived. A relative of a missing passenger briefed by the airline in Beijing said, […]

(CNN) — Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went down over the southern Indian Ocean, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Monday, citing a new analysis of satellite data by a British satellite company and accident investigators, and apparently ending hopes that anyone survived.

A relative of a missing passenger briefed by the airline in Beijing said, “They have told us all lives are lost.”

The Prime Minister based his announcement on what he described as unprecedented analysis of satellite data sent by the plane by British satellite provider Inmarsat and the British Air Accidents Investigation Branch. He didn’t describe the nature of the analysis.

But he said it made it clear that the plane’s last position was in the middle of the remote southern Indian Ocean, “far from any possible landing sites.”

Angry relatives of those aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 react in Beijing on Monday, March 24, after hearing that the plane went down over the southern Indian Ocean, according to a new analysis of satellite data. The plane has been missing since March 8.Angry relatives of those aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 react in Beijing on Monday, March 24, after hearing that the plane went down over the southern Indian Ocean, according to a new analysis of satellite data. The plane has been missing since March 8.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, center, delivers a statement about the flight Monday, March 24, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Razak's announcement came after the airline sent a text message to relatives saying it "deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH 370 has been lost and that none of those onboard survived."Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, center, delivers a statement about the flight Monday, March 24, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Razak’s announcement came after the airline sent a text message to relatives saying it “deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH 370 has been lost and that none of those onboard survived.”
Relatives of the missing passengers hold a candlelight vigil in Beijing on March 24.Relatives of the missing passengers hold a candlelight vigil in Beijing on March 24.
A member of the Royal Australian Air Force looks out an aircraft during a search for the missing jet March 24.A member of the Royal Australian Air Force looks out an aircraft during a search for the missing jet March 24.
A woman reads messages for missing passengers at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur on March 24.A woman reads messages for missing passengers at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur on March 24.
Flight Lt. Josh Williams of the Royal Australian Air Force operates the controls of an AP-3C Orion on Sunday, March 23, after searching the southern Indian Ocean.Flight Lt. Josh Williams of the Royal Australian Air Force operates the controls of an AP-3C Orion on Sunday, March 23, after searching the southern Indian Ocean.
Ground crew members wave to a Japanese Maritime Defense Force patrol plane as it leaves the Royal Malaysian Air Force base in Subang, Malaysia, on Sunday, March 23. The plane was heading to Australia to join a search-and-rescue operation.Ground crew members wave to a Japanese Maritime Defense Force patrol plane as it leaves the Royal Malaysian Air Force base in Subang, Malaysia, on Sunday, March 23. The plane was heading to Australia to join a search-and-rescue operation.
A passenger views a weather map in the departures terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Saturday, March 22.A passenger views a weather map in the departures terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Saturday, March 22.
A Chinese satellite captured this image, released on March 22, of a floating object in the Indian Ocean, according to China's State Administration of Science. It is a possible lead in the search for the missing plane. Surveillance planes are looking for two objects spotted by satellite imagery in remote, treacherous waters more than 1,400 miles from the west coast of Australia.A Chinese satellite captured this image, released on March 22, of a floating object in the Indian Ocean, according to China’s State Administration of Science. It is a possible lead in the search for the missing plane. Surveillance planes are looking for two objects spotted by satellite imagery in remote, treacherous waters more than 1,400 miles from the west coast of Australia.
A member of the Royal Australian Air Force looks down at the Norwegian merchant ship Hoegh St. Petersburg, which took part in search operations Friday, March 21.A member of the Royal Australian Air Force looks down at the Norwegian merchant ship Hoegh St. Petersburg, which took part in search operations Friday, March 21.
The Royal Australian Air Force's Neville Dawson, left, goes over the search area with Brittany Sharpe aboard an AP-3C Orion some 2,500 kilometers (about 1,500 miles) southwest of Perth, Australia, over the Indian Ocean on March 21.The Royal Australian Air Force’s Neville Dawson, left, goes over the search area with Brittany Sharpe aboard an AP-3C Orion some 2,500 kilometers (about 1,500 miles) southwest of Perth, Australia, over the Indian Ocean on March 21.
Satellite imagery provided by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority on Thursday, March 20, shows debris in the southern Indian Ocean that could be from Flight 370. The announcement by Australian officials that they had spotted something raised hopes of a breakthrough in the frustrating search.
Satellite imagery provided by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority on Thursday, March 20, shows debris in the southern Indian Ocean that could be from Flight 370. The announcement by Australian officials that they had spotted something raised hopes of a breakthrough in the frustrating search.
A closer look at the satellite shot of possible debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.A closer look at the satellite shot of possible debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Another satellite shot provided by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority shows possible debris from the flight.Another satellite shot provided by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority shows possible debris from the flight.
A closer look at the satellite shot of possible debris.A closer look at the satellite shot of possible debris.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority's John Young speaks to the media in Canberra, Australia, on March 20 about satellite imagery.The Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s John Young speaks to the media in Canberra, Australia, on March 20 about satellite imagery.
A distraught relative of a missing passenger breaks down while talking to reporters at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Wednesday, March 19.A distraught relative of a missing passenger breaks down while talking to reporters at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Wednesday, March 19.
A relative of missing passengers waits for a news briefing by officials in Beijing on Tuesday, March 18.A relative of missing passengers waits for a news briefing by officials in Beijing on Tuesday, March 18.
A relative of a missing passenger tells reporters in Beijing about a hunger strike to protest authorities' handling of information about the missing jet.A relative of a missing passenger tells reporters in Beijing about a hunger strike to protest authorities’ handling of information about the missing jet.
A member of Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency joins in a search for the missing plane in the Andaman
Sea area around the northern tip of Indonesia's Sumatra on Monday, March 17.A member of Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency joins in a search for the missing plane in the Andaman
Sea area around the northern tip of Indonesia’s Sumatra on Monday, March 17.
Relatives of missing passengers watch a news program about the missing plane as they await information at a hotel ballroom in Beijing on March 17.Relatives of missing passengers watch a news program about the missing plane as they await information at a hotel ballroom in Beijing on March 17.
Malaysian Transportation Minister Hishamuddin Hussein, center, shows maps of the search area at a hotel next to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 17. Malaysian Transportation Minister Hishamuddin Hussein, center, shows maps of the search area at a hotel next to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 17.
U.S. Navy crew members assist in search-and-rescue operations Sunday, March 16, in the Indian Ocean.U.S. Navy crew members assist in search-and-rescue operations Sunday, March 16, in the Indian Ocean.
Indonesian personnel watch over high seas during a search operation in the Andaman Sea on Saturday, March 15.Indonesian personnel watch over high seas during a search operation in the Andaman Sea on Saturday, March 15.
A foam plane, which has personalized messages for the missing flight's passengers, is seen at a viewing gallery March 15 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.A foam plane, which has personalized messages for the missing flight’s passengers, is seen at a viewing gallery March 15 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
A member of the Malaysian navy makes a call as his ship approaches a Chinese coast guard ship in the South China Sea on March 15.A member of the Malaysian navy makes a call as his ship approaches a Chinese coast guard ship in the South China Sea on March 15.
A Indonesian ship heads to the Andaman Sea during a search operation near the tip of Sumatra, Indonesia, on March 15.A Indonesian ship heads to the Andaman Sea during a search operation near the tip of Sumatra, Indonesia, on March 15.
Elementary school students pray for the missing passengers during class in Medan, Indonesia, on March 15.Elementary school students pray for the missing passengers during class in Medan, Indonesia, on March 15.
Col. Vu Duc Long of the Vietnam air force fields reporters' questions at an air base in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, after a search operation on Friday, March 14.Col. Vu Duc Long of the Vietnam air force fields reporters’ questions at an air base in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, after a search operation on Friday, March 14.
Members of the Chinese navy continue search operations on Thursday, March 13. The search area for Flight 370 has grown wider. After starting in the sea between Malaysia and Vietnam, the plane's last confirmed location, efforts are expanding west into the Indian Ocean.Members of the Chinese navy continue search operations on Thursday, March 13. The search area for Flight 370 has grown wider. After starting in the sea between Malaysia and Vietnam, the plane’s last confirmed location, efforts are expanding west into the Indian Ocean.
A Vietnamese military official looks out an aircraft window during search operations March 13.A Vietnamese military official looks out an aircraft window during search operations March 13.
Malaysian air force members look for debris on March 13 near Kuala Lumpur.Malaysian air force members look for debris on March 13 near Kuala Lumpur.
A relative of a missing passenger watches TV at a Beijing hotel as she waits for the latest news March 13.A relative of a missing passenger watches TV at a Beijing hotel as she waits for the latest news March 13.
A member of the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency scans the horizon in the Strait of Malacca on Wednesday, March 12.A member of the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency scans the horizon in the Strait of Malacca on Wednesday, March 12.
Relatives of missing passengers wait for the latest news at a hotel in Beijing on March 12.Relatives of missing passengers wait for the latest news at a hotel in Beijing on March 12.
Journalists raise their hands to ask questions during a news conference in Sepang on March 12.Journalists raise their hands to ask questions during a news conference in Sepang on March 12.
Indonesian air force officers in Medan, Indonesia, examine a map of the Strait of Malacca on March 12.Indonesian air force officers in Medan, Indonesia, examine a map of the Strait of Malacca on March 12.
A member of the Vietnamese air force checks a map while searching for the missing plane on Tuesday, March 11.A member of the Vietnamese air force checks a map while searching for the missing plane on Tuesday, March 11.
Iranians Pouri Nourmohammadi, second left, and Delavar Seyed Mohammad Reza, far right, were identified by Interpol as the two men who used stolen passports to board the flight. But there's no evidence to suggest either was connected to any terrorist organizations, according to Malaysian investigators. Malaysian police believe Nourmohammadi was trying to emigrate to Germany using the stolen Austrian passport.Iranians Pouri Nourmohammadi, second left, and Delavar Seyed Mohammad Reza, far right, were identified by Interpol as the two men who used stolen passports to board the flight. But there’s no evidence to suggest either was connected to any terrorist organizations, according to Malaysian investigators. Malaysian police believe Nourmohammadi was trying to emigrate to Germany using the stolen Austrian passport.
An Indonesian navy crew member scans an area of the South China Sea bordering Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand on Monday, March 10.An Indonesian navy crew member scans an area of the South China Sea bordering Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand on Monday, March 10.
Vietnam air force Col. Le Huu Hanh is reflected on the navigation control panel of a plane that is part of the search operation over the South China Sea on March 10.Vietnam air force Col. Le Huu Hanh is reflected on the navigation control panel of a plane that is part of the search operation over the South China Sea on March 10.
Relatives of the missing flight's passengers wait in a Beijing hotel room on March 10.Relatives of the missing flight’s passengers wait in a Beijing hotel room on March 10.
A U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopter lands aboard the USS Pinckney to change crews before returning to search for the missing plane Sunday, March 9, in the Gulf of Thailand.A U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopter lands aboard the USS Pinckney to change crews before returning to search for the missing plane Sunday, March 9, in the Gulf of Thailand.
Members of the Fo Guang Shan rescue team offer a special prayer March 9 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.Members of the Fo Guang Shan rescue team offer a special prayer March 9 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
A handout picture provided by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency shows personnel checking a radar screen during search-and-rescue operations March 9.A handout picture provided by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency shows personnel checking a radar screen during search-and-rescue operations March 9.
Italian tourist Luigi Maraldi, who reported his passport stolen in August, shows his current passport during a news conference at a police station in Phuket island, Thailand, on March 9. Two passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight were reportedly traveling on stolen passports belonging to Maraldi and an Austrian citizen whose papers were stolen two years ago.Italian tourist Luigi Maraldi, who reported his passport stolen in August, shows his current passport during a news conference at a police station in Phuket island, Thailand, on March 9. Two passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight were reportedly traveling on stolen passports belonging to Maraldi and an Austrian citizen whose papers were stolen two years ago.
Hugh Dunleavy, commercial director of Malaysia Airlines, speaks to journalists March 9 at a Beijing hotel where relatives and friends of the missing flight's passengers are staying.Hugh Dunleavy, commercial director of Malaysia Airlines, speaks to journalists March 9 at a Beijing hotel where relatives and friends of the missing flight’s passengers are staying.
Vietnamese air force crew stand in front of a plane at Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City on March 9 before heading out to the area between Vietnam and Malaysia where the airliner vanished.Vietnamese air force crew stand in front of a plane at Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City on March 9 before heading out to the area between Vietnam and Malaysia where the airliner vanished.
Buddhist monks at Kuala Lumpur International Airport offer a special prayer for the missing passengers on March 9.Buddhist monks at Kuala Lumpur International Airport offer a special prayer for the missing passengers on March 9.
The Chinese navy warship Jinggangshan prepares to leave Zhanjiang Port early on March 9 to assist in search-and-rescue operations for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight. The Jinggangshan, an amphibious landing ship, is loaded with lifesaving equipment, underwater detection devices and supplies of oil, water and food.The Chinese navy warship Jinggangshan prepares to leave Zhanjiang Port early on March 9 to assist in search-and-rescue operations for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight. The Jinggangshan, an amphibious landing ship, is loaded with lifesaving equipment, underwater detection devices and supplies of oil, water and food.
Members of a Chinese emergency response team board a rescue vessel at the port of Sanya in China's Hainan province on March 9. The vessel is carrying 12 divers and will rendezvous with another rescue vessel on its way to the area where contact was lost with Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.Members of a Chinese emergency response team board a rescue vessel at the port of Sanya in China’s Hainan province on March 9. The vessel is carrying 12 divers and will rendezvous with another rescue vessel on its way to the area where contact was lost with Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
The rescue vessel sets out from Sanya in the South China Sea.The rescue vessel sets out from Sanya in the South China Sea.
A family member of missing passengers is mobbed by journalists at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Saturday, March 8.A family member of missing passengers is mobbed by journalists at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Saturday, March 8.
A Vietnamese air force plane found traces of oil that authorities had suspected to be from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, the Vietnamese government online newspaper reported March 8. However, a sample from the slick showed it was bunker oil, typically used to power large cargo ships, Malaysia's state news agency, Bernama, reported on March 10.A Vietnamese air force plane found traces of oil that authorities had suspected to be from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, the Vietnamese government online newspaper reported March 8. However, a sample from the slick showed it was bunker oil, typically used to power large cargo ships, Malaysia’s state news agency, Bernama, reported on March 10.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, center, arrives to meet family members of missing passengers at the reception center at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 8.Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, center, arrives to meet family members of missing passengers at the reception center at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 8.
Malaysia Airlines official Joshua Law Kok Hwa, center, speaks to reporters in Beijing on March 8.Malaysia Airlines official Joshua Law Kok Hwa, center, speaks to reporters in Beijing on March 8.
A relative of two missing passengers reacts at their home in Kuala Lumpur on March 8.A relative of two missing passengers reacts at their home in Kuala Lumpur on March 8.
Wang Yue, director of marketing of Malaysia Airlines in China, reads a company statement during a news conference at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing on March 8. Wang Yue, director of marketing of Malaysia Airlines in China, reads a company statement during a news conference at the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing on March 8.
Chinese police at the Beijing airport stand beside the arrival board showing delayed Flight 370 in red on March 8.Chinese police at the Beijing airport stand beside the arrival board showing delayed Flight 370 in red on March 8.
A woman asks a staff member at the Beijing airport for more information on the missing flight.A woman asks a staff member at the Beijing airport for more information on the missing flight.
A Malaysian man who says he has relatives on board the missing plane talks to journalists at the Beijing airport on March 8.A Malaysian man who says he has relatives on board the missing plane talks to journalists at the Beijing airport on March 8.
Passengers walk past a Malaysia Airlines sign on March 8 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.Passengers walk past a Malaysia Airlines sign on March 8 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Malaysia Airlines Group CEO Ahmad Juahari Yahya, front, speaks during a news conference on March 8 at a hotel in Sepang. "We deeply regret that we have lost all contacts" with the jet, he said.Malaysia Airlines Group CEO Ahmad Juahari Yahya, front, speaks during a news conference on March 8 at a hotel in Sepang. “We deeply regret that we have lost all contacts” with the jet, he said.

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Photos: The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370Photos: The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Families told all lives are lost

Are found objects part of MH370?

He begged reporters to respect the privacy of relatives.

“For them, the past few weeks have been heartbreaking,” he said. “I know this news must be harder still.”

The Prime Minister’s statement came after the airline sent a text message to relatives saying it “deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those onboard survived.”

Reporters could hear wailing from a briefing for relatives of missing passengers in Beijing. Some relatives were wheeled from the conference room on stretchers, and one group of relatives smashed the lens of a reporter’s camera. A woman walked out of a briefing for relatives near Kuala Lumpur crying.

A Facebook page dedicated to the only American aboard the flight, Philip Wood, said of relatives that “our collective hearts are hurting now.”

“Please lift all the loved ones of MH370 with your good thoughts and prayers,” a post on the page said.

Sarah Bajc, Wood’s partner, canceled all media interviews after the announcement.

“I need closure to be certain, but cannot keep on with public efforts against all odds,” she wrote. “I still feel his presence, so perhaps it was his soul all along.”

Debris spotted in Indian Ocean

The announcement came the same day as Australian officials said they had spotted two objects in the southern Indian Ocean that could be related to the flight, which has been missing since March 8 with 239 people aboard.

One object is “a grey or green circular object,” and the other is “an orange rectangular object,” the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.

The objects are the latest in a series of sightings, including “suspicious objects” reported earlier Monday by a Chinese military plane that was involved in search efforts in the same region, authorities said.

So far, nothing has been definitively linked to Flight 370.

A look inside the search for MH370

Source: Flight 370 turned, dropped

Two objects located in ocean

Earlier, Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia’s acting transportation minister, said only that “at the moment, there are new leads but nothing conclusive.”

A reporter on board the Chinese plane for China’s official Xinhua news agency said the search team saw “two relatively big floating objects with many white smaller ones scattered within a radius of several kilometers,” the agency reported Monday.

The Chinese plane was flying at 33,000 feet on its way back to Australia’s west coast when it made the sighting, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.

But a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft, one of the military’s most sophisticated reconnaissance planes, that was tasked to investigate the objects was unable to find them, the authority said.

With the search in its third week, authorities have so far been unable to establish where exactly the missing plane is or why it flew off course from its planned journey from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

China has a particularly large stake in the search: Its citizens made up about two-thirds of the 227 passengers on the missing Boeing 777. Beijing has repeatedly called on Malaysian authorities, who are in charge of the overall search, to step up efforts to find the plane.

Malaysian and Australian authorities appeared to be more interested Monday in the two objects spotted by a Royal Australian Air Force P-3 Orion aircraft.

The Australian’s navy’s HMAS Success “is on scene and is attempting to locate the objects,” the Australian maritime authority said.

Hishammuddin said Australian authorities had said the objects could be retrieved “within the next few hours, or by tomorrow morning at the latest.”

Get up to speed

Satellites focus search

Recent information from satellites identifying objects in the water that could be related to the plane has focused search efforts on an area roughly 1,500 miles southwest of the Australian city of Perth.

A total of 10 aircraft — from Australia, China the United States and Japan — were tasked with combing the search area Monday.

The aerial searches have been trained on the isolated part of ocean since last week, when Australia first announced that satellite imagery had detected possible objects that could be connected to the search.

Since then, China and France have said they also have satellite information pointing to floating debris in a similar area. The Chinese information came from images, and the French data came from satellite radar.

But Australian officials have repeatedly warned that the objects detected in satellite images may not turn out to be from the missing plane — they could be containers that have fallen off cargo ships, for example.

On Saturday, searchers found a wooden pallet as well as strapping belts, Australian authorities said. The use of wooden pallets is common in the airline industry, but also in the shipping industry.

Hishammuddin said Monday that Flight 370 was carrying wooden pallets, but that there was so far no evidence they are related to the ones sighted in the search area.

The investigation into the passenger jet’s disappearance has already produced a wealth of false leads and speculative theories. Previously, when the hunt was focused on the South China Sea near where the plane dropped off civilian radar, a number of sightings of debris proved to be unrelated to the search.

How they’re searching for debris

Plane said to have flown low

The sighting of the objects of interest by the Chinese plane came after a weekend during which other nuggets of information emerged about the movements of the errant jetliner on the night it vanished.

Military radar tracking shows that after making a sharp turn over the South China Sea, the plane changed altitude as it headed toward the Strait of Malacca, an official close to the investigation into the missing flight told CNN.

The plane flew as low as 12,000 feet at some point before it disappeared from radar, according to the official. It had reportedly been flying at a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet when contact was lost with air traffic control.

The sharp turn seemed to be intentional, the official said, because executing it would have taken the Boeing 777 two minutes — a time period during which the pilot or co-pilot could have sent an emergency signal if there had been a fire or other emergency on board.

Authorities say the plane didn’t send any emergency signals, though some analysts say it’s still unclear whether the pilots tried but weren’t able to communicate because of a catastrophic failure of the aircraft’s systems.

The official, who is not authorized to speak to the media, told CNN that the area the plane flew in after the turn is a heavily trafficked air corridor and that flying at 12,000 feet would have kept the jet well out of the way of that traffic.

Malaysia disputes reprogramming

Also over the weekend, Malaysian authorities said the last transmission from the missing aircraft’s reporting system showed it heading to Beijing — a revelation that appears to undercut the theory that someone reprogrammed the plane’s flight path before the co-pilot signed off with air traffic controllers for the last time.

That reduces, but doesn’t rule out, suspicions about foul play in the cockpit.

Last week, CNN and other news organizations, citing unnamed sources, reported that authorities believed someone had reprogrammed the aircraft’s flight computer before the sign-off.

CNN cited sources who believed the plane’s flight computer must have been reprogrammed because it flew directly over navigational way points. A plane controlled by a human probably would not have been so precise, the sources said.

Malaysian authorities never confirmed that account, saying last week that the plane’s “documented flight path” had not been altered.

On Sunday, they clarified that statement further, saying the plane’s automated data reporting system included no route changes in its last burst, sent at 1:07 a.m. — 12 minutes before the last voice communication with flight controllers.

Analysts are divided about what the latest information could mean. Some argue it’s a sign that mechanical failure sent the plane suddenly off course. Others say there are still too many unknowns to eliminate any possibilities.

CNN aviation analyst Miles O’Brien called the fresh details about the flight a “game changer.”

“Now we have no evidence the crew did anything wrong,” he said. “And in fact, now, we should be operating with the primary assumption being that something bad happened to that plane shortly after they said good night.”

If a crisis on board caused the plane to lose pressure, he said, pilots could have chosen to deliberately fly lower to save passengers.

“You want to get down to 10,000 feet, because that is when you don’t have to worry about pressurization. You have enough air in the atmosphere naturally to keep everybody alive,” he said. “So part of the procedure for a rapid decompression … it’s called a high dive, and you go as quickly as you can down that to that altitude.”

Authorities have said pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah was highly experienced. On Monday, Malaysian authorities said Flight 370 was co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid’s sixth flight in a Boeing 777, and the first time when he was not traveling with an instructor pilot shadowing him.

“We do not see any problem with him,” said Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.

Whole world listens for slowly fading pings

Ocean search has many challenges

Clues lead to new theories

CNN’s Sara Sidner, Catherine E. Shoichet, Evan Perez, Kyung Lah and Jaime A. FlorCruz contributed to this report.



Source Article from http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/24/world/asia/malaysia-airlines-plane/

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