The announcement comes almost 17 months to the day that MH370 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing. While the confirmation indicates that the plane crashed somewhere in the Indian Ocean, and that the 239 passengers and crew are likely dead, it answered none of the other questions remaining about the incident, such as why the plane flew so far off its intended course.
"’I didn’t hear facts. I didn’t hear the basics. I heard nothing,’" said K.S. Narendran, husband of one of the missing passengers, "’and so it leaves me wondering whether there is a foregone conclusion and everyone is racing for the finish.’" CNN reported.
The three-meter section of wing washed up July 29 on Reunion Island, a French possession in the western Indian Ocean, 2,000 kilometers east of the African coast, and thousands of kilometers west of the suspected site of the crash off western Australia. Australia continues to search for MH370 wreckage underwater.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Until the wing debris was discovered in late July, not a single piece of wreckage, a single drop of oil, or a solitary life jacket had been found.
One hundred fifty-two of the passengers were Chinese, most of them from Beijing. A number of Beijing-based expatriates were also aboard, including most members of a French family, a couple traveling without their children, and a businessman on his final flight to Beijing before completing a move to Kuala Lumpur.
Satellite pings indicate the plane may have taken a course to the southern Indian Ocean and continued until it ran out of fuel or was forced down.
This post first appeared on thebeijinger.com on August 6, 2015.