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Sunday, March 8, 2015, 17:42

Interim statement on MH370 incident released

By Xinhua
Interim statement on MH370 incident released
A woman walks past placards highlighting the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, during a remembrance event in Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANA)

KUALA LUMPUR - The investigation team for the Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane released here an interim statement on the efforts and progress that have been made in the search of the missing plane and the investigation into the incident.

The statement, released on the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of the MH370, was formally announced through Radio Television Malaysia.

According to the statement, the investigation team had gathered some factual information on the MH370 incident through reviewing recordings, interviews and visits to departments concerned.

The investment team, called Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team, was set up by the Ministry of Transport Malaysia under Malaysia Civil Aviation Regulation. Experts and representatives from a number of countries and international organizations participated in the 19-member investigation team.

The team reviewed Air Traffic Control radio and radar tape recordings and made transcripts of radiotelephony communications between the aircraft and Air Traffic Controllers, said the report.

The team also reviewed aircraft maintenance records and carried out simulator sessions to re-construct the aircraft flight profile and system operation.

The team interviewed more than 120 people from the Department of Civil Aviation of Malaysia, Malaysia Airlines, next-of-kin of crew and others concerned.

The investigation team in the months ahead will need to analyze the information to draw conclusions and put forward safety recommendations based on the factual information that have been gathered, said the statement.

"In addition to the analysis and the conclusion phase of the investigation, steps taken will also include further validation of the factual information on emergence of new evidence," the statement said.

"The investigation team expects that further factual information will be available from the wreckage and flight recorders if the aircraft is found," the statement said.

The Malaysia Airlines plane disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014 with 239 people on board. So far no trace has been found despite a massive surface and underwater hunt.

A massive search has been jointly carried out by Australia, Malaysia and China in the Indian Ocean some 1,600 kilometers off Australia's west coast, with four ships using sophisticated sonar systems to scour a huge underwater area.

The vessels are focusing on a 60,000 square kilometer priority zone, with the hunt scheduled to end in May.

Malaysian Minister of Transport Liow Tiong Lai told reporters that over 26,000 square kilometers of the seafloor, or over 40 percent of the total priority zone have been searched so far for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

According to the regulations of International Civil Organization (ICAO), if a final investigation report on an air incident can not be made public available within 12 months, the country conducting the investigation shall make an interim statement on each anniversary of the occurrence, detailing the progress of the investigation.

"The disappearance of MH370 is without precedent, and so too is the search, by far the most complex and technically challenging in aviation history," Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement earlier Sunday.

"Together with our international partners, we have followed the little evidence that exists. Malaysia remains committed to the search, and hopefully that MH370 will be found," the prime minister said.

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