| 30.07,18. 08:22 PM |
MH370 investigators unable to determine cause of disappearance unless 'wreckage is found'
Photo: Loved ones wept after leaving the briefing. (Reuters: Sadiq Asyraf)
Investigators into the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 say they were unable to determine the cause of one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries.
Malaysian authorities released a final report today into the disappearance of the Boeing 777 on its way to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014.
Families of those onboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are disappointed at the lack of new information in the report.
Loved ones wept after leaving the briefing at the Malaysian Ministry of Transport.
"The team is unable to determine the real cause for disappearance of MH370," Kok Soo Chon, head of the MH370 safety investigation team, told reporters.
He opened the press conference by saying this report was not the final one, but later clarified his statement by saying that this is only because they have not found any victims or most of the wreckage.
"The answer can only be conclusive if the wreckage is found," he said.
"As far as our team is concerned, our work is done, we have released the report."
He also said there may have been outside interference with the plane, but investigators did not know for sure.
"We are unable to determine with any certainty the reasons that the aircraft diverted from its filed flight plan route," he said.
"The lack of evidence includes recording devices that could indicate why the aircraft had flown to the Southern Indian Ocean."
Questions remain over why it took hours for authorities to raise the alarm, and why they spent eight days looking in the wrong spot.
The families have also complained that no representatives from the search team nor the Ministry of Transport were on hand at the briefing to answer questions.
The report comes two months after Malaysia called off a privately funded underwater search for the aircraft carrying 239 people.
The report highlighted mistakes and protocols and guidelines that were not followed, the families told reporters after a briefing on the report.
"We hope that these mistakes will not be repeated and that measures are put in place to prevent them in the future," said Grace Nathan, a lawyer whose mother, Anne Daisy, was on the plane.
"The one point they stressed was that this report was not to assign blame, it was only a safety investigation," she said, adding that the investigators were limited in their effort, as it was based on information supplied to them.
On May 29, Malaysia called off a three-month search by US firm Ocean Infinity that spanned 112,000 square kilometres in the southern Indian Ocean and ended with no significant findings.
It was the second major search after Australia, China and Malaysia ended a fruitless $200 million-search across an area of 120,000 square kilometres last year.
Voice 370, a group representing the relatives, has previously urged the Malaysian Government for a review of the flight, including "any possible falsification or elimination of records related to MH370 and its maintenance".
The families said the report pointed to mistakes by the Malaysian air traffic control (ATC) centre. It showed there were only two attempted phone calls made to the aircraft from the ground, four to five hours apart.
Investigators looking into why the Boeing 777 veered thousands of miles off its scheduled route before eventually plunging into the Indian Ocean believe someone may have deliberately switched off MH370's transponder before diverting it over the Indian Ocean.
Newly elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia will consider resuming the search for MH370 only if new clues came to light.