Malaysia Airlines MH370: Government to release preliminary report next week


The search continues for wreckage from the Boeing 777, which vanished on March 8 carrying 239 people, including six Australians.

It is believed the jet crashed in the Indian Ocean, where an Australian-led effort is underway to recover its flight data and cockpit voice recorders.

Debris found on a beach in Western Australia’s South West region this week was not linked to MH370, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said yesterday.

Today’s search involved up to eight military aircraft and 10 ships searching a 50,000 square kilometre area about 1,600 kilometres north-west of Perth.

The Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle was completing its 13th mission in a 10-kilometre radius around the second acoustic signal detected on April 8.

However, no new contacts had been made, authorities said.

Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak told CNN it is likely a preliminary report on flight MH370’s disappearance will be released soon.

“I have directed an internal investigation team of experts to look at the report and there is a likelihood that next week we could release the report,” Mr Najib said.

Malaysian officials say the report has already been sent to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which requires countries to submit within 30 days a factual rundown of whatever is known about any air crash.

But Department of Civil Aviation director Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said at the time no decision had been made on whether to publicly release the report.

Mr Najib was asked why investigators need to look at the report before its release and whether it contained something “embarrassing”.

“No, I don’t think so,” he said.

“I just want it to be – this team to go through it. But in the name of transparency, we will release the report next week.”

Transport minister says ‘we have nothing to hide’

The Malaysian government has so far been tight-lipped about its investigation into the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines jet, adding to the anger and frustration of relatives of the 239 people aboard the plane.

Its initial response to the disaster was seen as chaotic and the scarce and often contradictory official information sparked concerns about transparency.

Malaysia has pledged that any data eventually recovered from the plane’s black box will also be publicly released.

The Malaysian cabinet this week approved plans to set up what transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein described as a “highly credible” international team tasked with investigating what happened to MH370.

“As I’ve consistently said since the beginning, we have nothing to hide,” he said.

Mr Najib said his government was not yet prepared to declare MH370’s passengers dead, while saying it was “hard to imagine otherwise”.

“Right now I think I need to take into account the feelings of the next of kin – and some of them have said publicly that they aren’t willing to accept it until they find hard evidence,” he said.

Passengers’ relatives this week denounced a Malaysian government official’s suggestion that it would soon look into issuing death certificates despite no proof yet of what happened to the plane.




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