The final report into Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has failed to bring comfort to the victims’ families after declaring the disappearance an “almost inconceivable” mystery.
It has been over three years since the aeroplane and 239 passengers and crew were lost during a journey between Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Despite the most most expensive and extensive underwater search in history, investigators have failed to locate the wreckage.
Unless new evidence comes to light, the report — released today by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) — will be the last.
“It remains a great tragedy and we wish that we could have brought complete closure to the bereaved,” the ATSB chief commissioner, Greg Hood, said.
“I hope, however, that they can take some solace in the fact that we did all we could do to find answers.”
“The underwater search has eliminated most of the high probability areas yielded by reconstructing the aircraft’s flight path and the debris drift studies conducted in the past 12 months have identified the most likely area with increasing precision,” the report said.
The search for the Boeing 777-200ER, which disappeared on March 8, 2014, was called off in January after 1,046 days, angering some of the victims’ families.
At the time the husband of Chandrika Sharma, of Chennai in India, who was among the 239 people on board, called it a “betrayal.”
“This decision appears premeditated and a betrayal of the commitment to the families and the public that the governments are committed to the search,” K S Narendran told the Guardian.
The search covered an area of more than 120,000 sq km, after suspected debris from MH370 washed up on islands in the Indian Ocean and the east coast of Africa in 2015 and 2016.
However, although the report said investigators now know more about the location of the plane than ever before, they have been unable to find evidence of it.
The report fails to conclude whether or not the the disappearance of MH370 was the result of “deliberate action”.
“Whether or not the loss of MH370 was the result of deliberate action by one or more individuals, or the result of a series of unforeseen events or technical failures,” it reads, “it is almost inconceivable and certainly societally unacceptable in this modern aviation age with 10 million passengers boarding commercial aircraft every day, for a large commercial aircraft to be lost and for the families of those on board not to know with certainty what became of the aircraft nor those on board.”