Kuala Lumpur/Paris: The families of those aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 feel that Prime Minister Najib Razak’s statement confirming that the wreckage found last week belonged to the aircraft was not enough for a full closure, media reports said on Thursday.
Razak made a statement in the early hours of Thursday confirming that the wreckage found on Reunion Island last week belonged to the flight MH370 airliner that went missing in March last year.
“Now I want to know where the main body of the plane is so that we can take out the passengers and get the black box so we can know what happened. Only that, for us, will be full closure,” The Malaysian Star quoted Jacquita Gonzales, wife of MH370 chief steward Patrick Gomes as saying.
Gonzales and some other next of kin in Kuala Lumpur were reacting to Razak’s announcement that a flaperon — wing component — which was discovered on July 29, has been conclusively confirmed as from MH370, the Bejing-bound flight from Kuala Lumpur which vanished without a trace on March 8, 2014 with 239 people onboard.
Selamat Omar, father of passenger Mohammad Khairul Amri, 29, said he least expected it as the flaperon was found far from the location where the plane was believed to have crashed.
“This is beyond belief because it is so far from the supposed crash site. But I still accept this as fate, and hope the Malaysian government will continue with the search for more evidence,” Omar said.
“I was left somewhat confused and, frankly, a little angry and dismayed,” CNN quoted K.S. Narendran, whose wife was one of the passengers, as saying.
Authorities announced their conclusions, Narendran said, without detailing their findings.
“I didn’t hear facts. I didn’t hear the basics. I heard nothing,” he said, adding: “And so it leaves me wondering whether there is a foregone conclusion and everyone is racing for the finish.”
“Today, 515 days since the plane disappeared, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts have conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370,” Razak said.
“We now have physical evidence that, as I announced on 24th March last year, flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean,” he added.
The flaperon was examined at a military lab outside the French city of Toulouse in the presence of Malaysian and Australian experts, Boeing employees and representatives from China — the country that lost the most passengers in the disaster.
Shortly before Najib’s statement, Malaysia Airlines sent a message to the victims’ families saying a “major announcement” that the flaperon was from the missing plane was imminent.
“This has been confirmed jointly by the French Authorities, Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses pour la Securites de I’Aviation Civile (BEA), the Malaysian Investigation Team, Technical Representative from PRC and Australian Transportation Safety Bureau (ATSB),” the airline said.
The French prosecutor said the flaperon matches that of a Boeing 777, and the characteristics of the part match the technical specifications provided by Malaysia Airlines for that part of the missing aircraft.