Australian authorities are still searching for debris from MH370. There are plans that this search could go on for many days, in spite of what families of those aboard have heard. Malaysia Airlines initially told the families that they believe the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean and that there were no survivors. However, rumours are spreading that the airline has held back on several secrets about the missing flight.
Malaysia Airlines has come under fire for many elements of the MH370 disaster. Their choice, for example, to send a text to relatives of those aboard informing them that they believed the plane to have crashed with no hope of rescue. Danica Weeks is amongst those grieving for family, as her husband was on the plane, and she stated that the use of a text message to convey such sensitive information “sickened” her. Husband Paul Weeks was on his way to begin a new job as a mining engineer. Now she is left with the struggle of how to break the news to her three-year-old son.
Speculation had been building around the possibility that the plane was downed intentionally by its pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah. Investigators into the situation made public that the captain was said to have received a phone call from a woman just prior to boarding. It was also known that of the two pilots, he was the one with more experience. Investigators looked into local terrorist groups, but found no connection. They also did not discover any kind of financial difficulties. There was some speculation that Shah had been acting strangely at home. He had built a flight simulator, but the FBI found nothing sinister with the data.
Son of Shah, Ahmad Seth has come forward to defend him. He admits that they were not particularly close due to the number of hours his father spent in the air, but he is adamant that he could not have deliberately hurt anyone. Seth has informed police that his father had no strong political affiliations and would not have committed suicide. Seth added, “I know my father better.” Unofficially, the blaming of the pilot has been seen by some as a way to cover up another kind of fault made by Malaysian Airlines.
This fact is strengthened by a refusal of Malaysia Airlines to share sealed evidence about the MH370 disappearance. At the briefing on Wednesday last week, angry relatives were informed that the company is holding back on secrets to do with the plane. The evidence is known to be in the form of radar data, air traffic control radio transcripts and airport security recordings. The airline also refused to release their full cargo holdings, even though this could have hampered the search early on.
The airline has already come under fire for being too slow to release information about the crash. One frustrated relative spoke up at the briefing saying that they were left “speechless” by the lack of care and information offered to them.
Searching for the missing airplane has been exacerbated by gale force winds last week. As hopes of ever finding the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 fade, speculation about what had caused the crash deepens. For relatives, the belief that the airline is holding on to secrets seems like salt on the wound.
By Sara Watson