Malaysia Jet Search Official Sends Mixed Messages, Confuses Relatives
Over three weeks into the devastating saga of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, and the search continues. Though officials confirmed earlier this week that the plane had apparently crashed into the Indian Ocean, today, a Malaysian official said that there was still a chance survivors may exist among the 239 passengers aboard the Boeing 777.
Only a few days after the relatives of the passengers penned an angry letter to the Malaysian government in response to their handling of the situation, Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia's acting transportation minister, told family members that he hadn't closed the door on the case quite yet.
"Even hoping against hope, no matter how remote, of course, we are praying and we will continue our search for the possible survivors," Hussein said. "More than that, I told the families I cannot give them false hope. The best we can do is pray and that we must be sensitive to them that, as long as there is even a remote chance of a survivor, we will pray and do whatever it takes."
Hussein's comments as a Chinese military plane searching the South Indian Ocean on Saturday reported spotting several floating objects in the sea, two of which happen to bear the same colors as the missing plane. The debris they found were white, red and orange; the missing Boeing 777 had red, white, blue and gray on its exterior.
Earlier in the day, the hunt continued with eight planes and several ships searching through roughly 97,000 square mile of water off the coast of Australia. Though aircraft reported spotting some debris not unlike that of sighted yesterday, still, nothing was concrete. At one point, two ships retrieved objects, "but so far no objects confirmed to be related to MH370 have been recovered."
It's still looking like the jet ended up deep in the southern Indian Ocean, but even if the plane is found, figuring out why it ended up there will still be problematic. For one thing, locating the cockpit voice recorder on the ocean floor —which at some points, reaches a whopping 19,700 feet — will be a feat in and of itself.