Malaysian Prime Minister says flight "ended in southern Indian Ocean"

By: Matt McGovern Email
By: Matt McGovern Email
The aircraft went down over the southern Indian Ocean, according to  Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Flight 370 vanished more than two weeks ago with 239 people aboard.

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA (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.

The announcement appeared to rule out the possibility that anyone could have survived whatever happened to the aircraft, which vanished more than two weeks ago with 239 people aboard.

As Razak spoke, airline representatives met with family members in Beijing. "They have told us all lives are lost," one relative of a missing passenger told CNN.

The developments happened the same day Australian officials announced 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.

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."


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