Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 remains missing without a trace nearly one year after disappearing from radar with 239 people on board, and now as rescue efforts intensify, the family members of those on board are questioning whether it was really an accident that caused the flight to go missing.
This week the efforts to scour the Indian Ocean floor for the missing airplane reached the most intensive point yet, with all four vessels involved in the search deployed simultaneously for the first time in the southern Indian Ocean.
“All four vessels have been deployed in the search ops, but for the first time all four in the search area at the same time/concurrently #MH370,” tweeted Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
The search vessels — the Go Phoenix, Fugro Equator, and Fugro Discovery —are equipped with high-tech echo sounders to detect whether there is any wreckage from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 to be found.
As the search efforts intensify, family members of those lost aboard the missing flight are growing increasingly angry at the futility of the search. Many have spoken out against the statement from Malaysia’s civil aviation authority that the plane was declared lost to an accident, with all on board presumed dead.
“Thirteen nations have also lost sons and daughters to this tragedy,” Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said. “It is nonetheless important that families try to resume normal lives, or as normal a life as may be possible, after this sudden loss.”
But many of the family members of those on board Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disagree, with some saying that the flight may not have been an accident at all.
“Malaysia has made this announcement without any evidence,” said Jiang Hui, whose mother was on board the flight. “It is cold, cruel, irresponsible and illegal. It takes away our only pillar of support.”
Others noted that the Malaysian government seemed to jump to the conclusion that the flight was lost to an accident, ignoring other theories of its disappearance.
“They are trying to wash their hands off it,” said Sarah Bajc, whose partner, Philip Wood, was on board the flight. “There is no evidence it was an accident, but that is the most convenient excuse for them. Just a few months ago, they were claiming the plane was potentially hijacked.”
“There is ample evidence that the lack of proper response from Malaysia Airlines, air traffic control, and the Malaysian military is directly responsible for the plane being allowed to disappear.”
The futility of the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has allowed other theories to linger, including the possibility that the flight was hijacked or even landed.