KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA—
The missing Malaysian airliner crashed into the Indian Ocean, the Malaysian prime minister has said.
At a sombre news conference, Najib Razak said, “With deep sadness and regret, I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”
That first definitive information about the whereabouts of the passenger jet that vanished 17 days ago is based on analysis from Inmarsat of satellite data, Razak said.
“The last position of MH370 was in the middle of the Indian Ocean,” he said.
The families who have desperately been waiting for word of their loved ones, were told all lives were lost, Razak said.
“I urge the media to respect their privacy and to allow them the space they need at this difficult time,” he said.
Malaysian Airlines in its own statement said, “We deeply regret that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board have survived.
“We must now accept all evidence suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean.”
Earlier, ships rushed to the location of floating objects spotted Monday by Australian and Chinese planes in the southern Indian Ocean close to where multiple satellites have detected possible remains of the lost Malaysian airliner.
One ship was carrying equipment to detect the plane's vital black box, but it remained uncertain whether the vessels were reaching the end of the search or another frustrating dead end.
“They could be flotsam,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in Canberra. “Nevertheless we are hopeful that we can recover these objects soon and that they will take us a step closer to resolving this tragic mystery.”