Malaysia Prime Minister: Flight 370 ended in the Indian Ocean

BY newsdesk  March 24, 2014 at 10:17 AM EST

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced Monday morning that based on new analysis of satellite data of the plane’s path, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean. “This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites,” Razak explained.

The prime minister did not indicate that wreckage has been found or that the reason for the plane’s failure was known, but U.S., Australian and Chinese ships searching in the region off the coast of Perth, Australia have reported spotting some unidentified objects in the water.

Families and relatives of the passengers on the plane were informed of the plane’s fate by Malaysia Airlines on Monday.

There were multiple reports over the weekend of new leads in the form of satellite images of possible debris, but the overall scope of the search has narrowed as resources have been pulled away from the effort by the U.S. and other nations.

The Prime Minister’s statement was delivered at 10 p.m. local time in Malaysia on Monday, and he indicated there would be more information released on Tuesday at a press conference.

Update 11:18 a.m. EDT:

BBC reports that this is the message Malaysia Airlines sent to the families of the passengers of flight 370:

“Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean. As you will hear in the next hour from Malaysia’s Prime Minister, new analysis of satellite data suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean.

On behalf of all of us at Malaysia Airlines and all Malaysians, our prayers go out to all the loved ones of the 226 passengers and of our 13 friends and colleagues at this enormously painful time.

We know there are no words that we or anyone else can say which can ease your pain. We will continue to provide assistance and support to you, as we have done since MH370 first disappeared in the early hours of 8 March, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

The ongoing multinational search operation will continue, as we seek answers to the questions which remain. Alongside the search for MH370, there is an intensive investigation, which we hope will also provide answers.

We would like to assure you that Malaysia Airlines will continue to give you our full support throughout the difficult weeks and months ahead.

Once again, we humbly offer our sincere thoughts, prayers and condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy.”