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Malaysian relatives of MH370 passengers brace for more revelations as some remain hopeful

Published on Mar 20, 2014 4:11 PM
 

KUALA LUMPUR - Distraught families of the passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 braced for more revelations as they prepared to be briefed tonight by Malaysia investigators on sightings of suspected debris of the plane in the southern Indian Ocean.

News of the sightings have heightened the anxiety of the family members who feel that they have been kept in the dark of their loved ones' fate as they have yet to be briefed by investigators.

Mr Selamat Omar, father of engineer Khairul Selamat who took the flight, remains hopeful that everyone on the plane is still alive despite this news.

"We are still waiting for verification from the authorities. If it's really MH370, we will accept that fate," he told reporters at the Everly Hotel when reacting to breaking news of the findings by the Australians.

Mr Selamat Umar, whose son is on MH370, said he remains hopeful that everyone on the plane are still alive. Distraught families of the passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 braced for more revelations as they prepared to be briefed tonight by Malaysia investigators on sightings of suspected debris of the plane in the southern Indian Ocean. -- ST PHOTO: JOYCE LIM

It was learnt that as the news was streamed from international television channels at noon on Thursday, many family members broke down in tears, bracing for the debris to be confirmed as MH370's.

Eighty-five relatives of 29 Chinese passengers have been staying at the Cyberview Resort and Spa since March 12 in Cyberjaya, some 25 minutes from the Sama-Sama Hotel next to Kuala Lumpur International Airport where search operations are based.

Families of the 38 Malaysians aboard the jet missing for 13 days now have been housed by MAS at the Everly Hotel in Putrajaya since the first day.

Australia has sent four search aircraft and two ships to an area some 2,500 kilometres south-west of Perth after satellite images detected "credible" sightings of debris of the missing jetliner.

Two objects, the larger of which was measured at 24 metres, were found floating in the Indian Ocean, Australian officials said.

"The objects are relatively indistinct. The indication to me is of objects that are of a reasonable size and probably awash with water and bobbing up and down over the surface," Australian Maritime Safety Authority official John Young told a press briefing in Canberra on Thursday.

Water in the search area may be "several thousand metres deep" and poor visibility in the area would hamper the search, although the weather was moderate, Mr Young said.

Malaysia's Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein who leads the Malaysian investigators said they were corroborating with the Australian delegation in Kuala Lumpur assisting in search and rescue.

For now, the families continue to hope, pray and wait.

"I'll will stay here until the plane is found, God willing," Mr Selamat said.

lestkong@sph.com.sg

joycel@sph.com.sg

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