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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 November 2018

Anger as MH370 families say official report offers no new information

Relatives of dead had hoped the official investigation team's report could have provided some closure

Relatives of those on board the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 address the media on July 30, 2018, after the MH370 safety investigation report briefing in Putrajaya, Malaysia. AP
Relatives of those on board the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 address the media on July 30, 2018, after the MH370 safety investigation report briefing in Putrajaya, Malaysia. AP

A long-awaited official report into the disappearance of Flight MH370 gave no new clues about why the plane vanished, relatives of those on board the aircraft said on Monday, expressing anger and disappointment.

Family members had hoped the official investigation team's report could have provided some closure, more than four years after the Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 239 people went missing.

But grieving relatives said the technical document appeared to contain little new information beyond a lengthy description of the plane's disappearance and the search efforts. They said officials were unable to answer their questions. Some angry relatives walked out of the briefing.

"It is so disappointing," said Intan Maizura Othman, whose husband was a flight steward on MH370, which was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it vanished in March 2014.

"I am frustrated. There is nothing new in the report.

"Those who gave the briefing from the Ministry of Transport were not able to give answers as they were not [the ones] who wrote the report."

She said that the meeting between relatives and officials descended into a "shouting match" as family members' frustrations boiled over.

"Many asked questions," said G Subramaniam, who lost a son on the flight, but added that "unsatisfactory responses left many angry".

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The report was due to be released publicly later on Monday.

No sign of the jet was found in the 120,000-square kilometre search zone in the Indian Ocean, and the Australian-led hunt — the largest in aviation history — was suspended in January last year.

United States exploration firm Ocean Infinity resumed the search at the start of this year on a "no find, no fee" basis, using high-tech drones to scour the seabed. But that search was called off after failing to find anything.

Malaysia's new government, which came to power in May, pledged transparency on the investigation, including the release of the report by the official safety investigation team — a 19-member organisation which includes international investigators.

Only three confirmed fragments of MH370 have been found, all of them on western Indian Ocean shores, including a two-metre wing part known as a flaperon.

There have been a host of theories about why the plane disappeared, ranging from an accident to a hijacking or even a terror plot.