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Missing passenger plane: Relatives victims threaten hunger strike

By News Express on 19/03/2014

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Relatives desperate for information on the fate of loved ones on board the missing Malaysian passenger jet have reportedly threatened to go on hunger strike if the authorities in Kuala Lumpur are not more forthcoming.

“What we want is the truth,” one woman said, after a meeting with Malaysian authorities, according to the BBC. “Don’t let the passengers become the victims of a political fight.”

Relatives of passengers on the missing jet today accused the Malaysian government of failing to work hard enough to find the plane. The half a dozen people held up banners blaming the government of inaction as airline officials desperately tried to resume order at a media briefing. One woman screamed: “You are traitors to us... you have let us down. Tell us the truth! We want the truth!”

Investigators probing the disappearance 11 days ago of the Malaysia Airlines jetliner with 239 people on board believe it most likely flew into the southern Indian Ocean, a source close to the investigation said on yesterday. No wreckage has been found from Flight MH370, which vanished from air traffic control screens off Malaysia’s east coast at 1:21 a.m. local time on March 8, less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing.

Speaking yesterday, the official leading the hunt for missing Flight MH370 dismissed criticism voiced by officials in China and the US that Malaysia had itself been reluctant to share information with foreign governments. He said such was the desire to find the plane, that Malaysia had shared information with other countries that could potentially weaken its national security.

“The entire search area is now 2.24 million square nautical miles. This is an enormous search area,” said Malaysia’s Transport Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein. “And it is something that Malaysia cannot possibly search on its own. I am therefore very pleased that so many countries have come forward to offer assistance and support to the search and rescue operation.”

The search now covers more than 2.2 million nautical square miles – an area the size of Australia. At least 25 countries are involved in the operation. Yet there still remains not a single physical trace of the plane or the people who boarded eleven days ago.

Officials were last night still searching along two arcs that cut north and south through swathes of Asia. It is believed that it was from somewhere along this line that the final “ping” satellite signal from the plane was sent. Amid speculation about which way the plane might have turned, officials say both areas remain equally important to investigators.

Mr Hussein spoke as investigators continued to focus attention on both the passengers and crew of the plane, searching for any clues as to who may have been responsible for diverting the jet off course. Over the weekend, officials said they believed the actions of the plane as it veered from its planned route and turned sharply West, were consistent with the intentional action of someone onboard.

Mr Hussein said Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea were sending additional hardware to search in the massive southern Indian Ocean. He said he had also spoken with US defence secretary Chuck Hagel, given the US’s search and rescue capabilities. He said he had also spoken with his counterparts in China, which had also vowed to help search in China itself and along the so-called southern corridor.

Flight MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur at 12.40am Malaysian time on 8 March, destination Beijing. The plane’s transponder, which allows air traffic controllers to identify and track it, stopped communicating at 1.20am.

•Pieced together from reports in The Independent and MailOnline, Photo shows some of the relatives of the passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet.

Source News Express

Posted 20/03/2014 03:58:16 AM





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