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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Sunday, May 27, 2018

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Mystery of missing MH370 'may not be solved'

We may not even know the reason for this incident

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KUALA LUMPUR Malaysia's police chief has warned that the reasons for the Malaysia Airlines plane's disappearance may never be known. Khalid Abu Bakar said the case "may go on and on and on" and urged people to be patient as he briefed reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

He warned that relatives of the 239 people on board could be left in limbo. 'At the end of the investigations, we may not even know the real cause,' he said. 'We may not even know the reason for this incident.'

The MH370 disappeared on March 8 while heading to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur after its transponders were switched off and it vanished from commercial radar.

Military radar picked up the jet after an hour, on the other side of the Malay peninsula. Authorities say until then its "movements were consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane" but have not ruled out anything, including mechanical error.

Despite weeks of scouring the surrounding seas, eventually focusing on the southern Indian Ocean, nothing has been found to help investigators determine what happened to the aircraft.

Police have investigated the pilots and crew for any evidence suggesting they may have hijacked or sabotaged the plane. The backgrounds of the passengers, two-thirds of whom were Chinese, have been checked and nothing suspicious has been found.

Police are also investigating the cargo and the food served on the plane to eliminate possible poisoning of passengers and crew, he said.

He said that police had conducted more than 170 interviews with relatives of the pilots and 10 other crew members. The investigation was focused on four areas hijacking, sabotage and personal or psychological problems of those on board but checks on the crew members and passengers have found nothing.

"We must be very thorough and we need all the time you cannot hurry us," the inspector general said. "We have to clear every little thing."

The British government said a nuclear-powered submarine with advanced underwater search capability had arrived in the southern Indian Ocean.

The current search area is a 221,000-sq-km area of sea roughly a two and a half hour flight from Perth. Currents in the sea are also being studied to see where any wreckage is most likely to have drifted.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razzak is to meet Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and see the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), where the southern Indian Ocean search is being led.

Nine ships and nine aircraft are scouring a vast area roughly 930 miles west of Perth. Abbott told Perth Radio 6iX that the case was "one of the great mysteries of our time".

He added: "It's a terrible tragedy. There are 239 devastated families. We owe it to the world, we owe it to those families to do whatever we reasonably can do to get to the bottom of this."

On Tuesday, Malaysian authorities released the full transcript of communications between the flight and air traffic control in Kuala Lumpur.

They said there was no indication of anything abnormal in the transcript, although the last words received by ground controllers are different from those previously stated.

Though officials have concluded that flight MH370 crashed into the southern Indian Ocean but many relatives of those on board have demanded proof.

On Wednesday, authorities organized a closed-door briefing in Malaysia for the families with officials and experts involved in the hunt, including the chief of the Malaysian air force.>BNN 

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