It has been just over two weeks since Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 reportedly stopped transmitting a signal, dropped off radar screens, and vanished. It has been just less than two weeks since the Malaysia military noted that the missing plane did not go down into the South China Sea as was first suspected. In all that time, a whirlwind of both hopeful and dire speculation has buffeted the media concerning the Boeing 777, not to mention various reports that debris had been detected, perhaps pieces of what's left of the aircraft. But on March 24, Malaysia authorities sent out a text message that gave voice to the greatest fear held by the families of the 239 people aboard Flight MH370.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was down, somewhere in the South Indian Ocean. All lives aboard had been lost. That was the message Malaysia Airlines texted Monday to families of many of the 239 people aboard the Boeing 777, CNN reported March 24. The text was sent just minutes before a press conference was held by airline representatives.
"They have told us all lives are lost," one relative told a CNN producer at Beijing's Lido Hotel, the location of the conference.
The text and the following press conference was tragic news for the families, corroborating what Malaysia's prime minister had announced earlier in the day -- Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 had gone down in the southern Indian Ocean.
Amidst cries of despair and anguish were also shouts of anger and denial. There was even some pushing and shoving. A camera lens of one photojournalist was smashed.
"You announce this information today," a plainly heartbroken relative said while leaving the conference. "... Is it really confirmed? What's your proof? We've been waiting for 17 days. You simply tell us this! Where is the proof? It's wrong to announce the information like this!"
Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak issued a statement from Kuala Lumpur Monday morning. "Based on their new analysis," he said, after explaining that his information came from data taken from a British satellite, "Inmarsat and the AAIB 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. This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites.
"It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean."
The massive passenger plane first went missing on March 8. It was initially believed to have crashed into the South China Sea, but subsequent radar hits and signals received by satellites suggested that the Boeing 777 was still aloft for hours after it stopped transmitting from its location transponder.
The last signal placed the missing plane over the southern Indian Ocean.
Debris has been found in several places within the search zones. But the latest promising find came from the south Indian Ocean. Australians announced Monday that they had discovered two objects on the waves. However, searches in the area were called off due to approaching inclement weather.
To date, there has been no confirmation of any found debris that can be connected to missing Flight MH370.