Friday, May 30, 2014

The continuing anguish of MH370 families

MH 370
KUALA LUMPUR: The recent announcement made by the Australian-led Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) suggesting that the missing MH370 may not have indeed ended in the south of the Indian Ocean has further ruffled the emotions of families of those on board the ill-fated plane.

The Perth wife of a passenger on the Malaysia Airlines says she has difficulty processing news that searchers have given up on an area of the Indian Ocean where acoustic “pings” were detected.
Underwater drone Bluefin-21 has completed its scouring of the zone off the West Australian coast where the man-made sounds were picked up, and come up with nothing.

A massive broadening of the search area is now expected, based on a fresh analysis of data that led British satellite firm Inmarsat to conclude the plane crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.
Meanwhile, New Zealander Danica Weeks, whose mechanical engineer husband, Paul, had boarded MH370 on his way to start a new job in Mongolia, remains in Perth, where their family moved after the Christchurch earthquakes in 2011.
She poured out her frustration upon the latest disclosure made by JACC.
Weeks said she had “cried a lot of tears today”.
“It just is another slap in the face, it’s just another long road for us and I’m just shattered by the news, I’m absolutely shattered,” Weeks told the Seven Network.
“When your child cries for their father, it just breaks your heart and I can’t tell them the truth because I don’t know.
“I still haven’t reconciled that he’s not coming back, because I’ve had nothing.
“When you don’t have anything – not even a piece of the plane, just nothing, and so many different stories – how can you not have a little piece of hope?”
The couple have two boys, Lincoln, 3, and 13-month-old Jack.
Search not optimal yet
Back home in Kuala Lumpur,  Selamat Osman, whose son was on board MH370, said he had been informed by Malaysian Airlines about the doubts now surrounding the supposed black box pings.
He said he was disappointed that efforts to find the plane and his son and the other 238 on board had come to nought.
“I feel really disappointed. The attempt to search for the plane is not optimal yet.
“They should be working harder rather than talking and talking. In my opinion, they have too much talking rather than working. It doesn’t make us really feel sure about their work.”
On the other hand, Sarah Bjac, whose partner Philip Wood who was also on board the plane, leads a group of relatives of passengers who want more answers.
She said yesterday the latest black box twist was “consistent with the tangled mess that is this supposed investigation”.
Bjac said from her home in Beijing: “It is a sad commentary on the situation that family members are rejoicing that there is still a chance that our loved ones are being held hostage by hijackers. It is a better option than dead at the bottom of the ocean.”
She said the family members were being managed and intentionally distracted.
“I’ve been saying this since the first weeks. We are being managed and intentionally distracted. Lead, redaction, lead, redaction, lead — until three months later there is not a single solitary fact or piece of evidence that has been proven to be true, not one.
“Both the leads and the redactions come from a mix of official sources and ‘leaks’.
Nothing is logical or consistent or according to standard expected protocols, much less common sense.”
MH370 with 239 people on board went missing  while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.  It was reported to have made a westerly turn towards the Andaman Sea after being airborne for about 40 minutes.
All communications went blank thereafter but data released by satellite company Inmarsat based in United Kingdom had suggested that the flight had ended its journey in the southern part of the Indian Ocean.
Search efforts to-date have been futile for any trace of the missing plane.