Malaysia Airlines jet with 239 people on board, including five Indians, missing for 17 days crashed in the southern Indian Ocean with no survivors and their families have been informed, Prime Minister Najib Razak stated today, citing new satellite data.
"With deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean," a grim-faced Najib told a specially convened press conference.
The announcement came on the fifth day of an international search effort in the southern Indian Ocean, with Australian and Chinese planes reporting spotting of several floating objects, about 2,500 km west of Perth.
There is no official word yet on the wreckage of the Boeing 777-200 that went missing on March 8. Najib said he will hold a press conference tomorrow, indicating that he will then come out with more information on the aircraft.
Based on new analysis UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) and Inmarsat, the British company that provided satellite data, "we have concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth," he said.
"This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites."
"We share this information out of a commitment to openness and respect for the families, two principles guiding this investigation," he said.
He said Malaysia Airlines officials have already spoken to the families of the passengers and crew to inform them of the new development.
"I urge the media to respect their privacy, and to allow them the space they need at this difficult time."
His announcement came 17 days after the Beijing-bound plane with 239 people, including five Indians, on board disappeared mysteriously from radar screens, one hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur.
The list of passengers on board included 154 Chinese, 38 Malaysians, 7 Indonesians, 6 Australians, 5 Indians, 4 Americans and 2 Canadians.
Indians, including three from one family, were identified as Chetna Kolekar, 55, Swanand Kolekar, 23, Vinod Kolekar, 59, Chandrika Sharma, 51, and Kranti Shirsatha, 44.
Meanwhile, an Australian ship was trying to retrieve objects located in the area earlier in the day.
Two objects -- the first grey or green and circular and the second orange and rectangular -- located by an Australian P3 Orion aircraft in the area, Australian Premier Tony Abbott said.