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News18 » India
1-min read

MH370: Relatives of passengers accuse Malaysia of withholding data

No wreckage from the jet, which disappeared on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board, has been found despite a massive international search off western Australia.

AFP

Updated:May 28, 2014, 11:50 PM IST
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MH370: Relatives of passengers accuse Malaysia of withholding data
No wreckage from the jet, which disappeared on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board, has been found despite a massive international search off western Australia.

Kuala Lumpur: Families of passengers aboard missing flight MH370 on Wednesday accused Malaysia of withholding crucial satellite data, saying a long-awaited report is incomplete and does not prove the plane crashed in the Indian Ocean.

Authorities on Tuesday released a 47-page summary of communication logs from the Malaysia Airlines plane recorded by British satellite operator Inmarsat, information which relatives and independent experts had demanded.

No wreckage from the jet, which disappeared on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board, has been found despite a massive international search off western Australia.

Many relatives are frustrated over the lack of progress, and have little faith in the complex process used to form the theory that the plane veered off course for reasons unknown after losing contact, and then crashed into the southern Indian Ocean.

Michael Exner, a US-based satellite engineer and one of the most prominent independent experts to analyse the findings, said Malaysia had failed to provide crucial supporting details together with the Inmarsat logs.

"There is a little bit more new information that may help us. But there is just a very large body of metadata that is missing," he said.

"They are not being transparent," he added. "It may not be possible to draw any conclusions. Why don't they just release all? Why do they hide so much of it?" Exner said that it would take days to properly examine even the limited technical data that had been released.

Steve Wang, a spokesman for a support group of relatives of the flight's 153 Chinese passengers, accused authorities of holding back data. "We want a complete report releasing all the information on how the theory behind the plane's position was reached, so that we can invite experts to give their independent opinion."

"So much time has passed and nothing has been found, so we doubt that the calculated position of the plane is correct," he said. Sarah Bajc, the girlfriend of American passenger Philip Wood and a vocal critic of the Malaysian response, said the authorities had chosen to "manage" what they released instead of handing over the original raw data.

"This report is anti-climatic. Our original request for the data was over two months ago... For it to have taken so long to release data that has still been manipulated is just ridiculous," she said.

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