No clue to missing Malaysian plane, two years after
This week Tuesday, marked the second anniversary of the disappearance of the Malaysian Jetliner, Flight370 which took off from the country’s capital Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014 and believed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean, with all the 277 passengers and 12 crew on board.
The Beijing bound Boeing 777 expectedly, had more Chinese (153) and Taiwanese on board.As was the case during the first anniversary, this year’s edition was marked with protest and prayers in China, Taiwan, Thailand and some other Asian countries.
According to CBS News, “240 white balloons floated skyward from a Kuala Lumpur shopping center as families of those on board Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 gathered to mark the two-year anniversary of the Boeing 777’s disappearance. There were 227 balloons for the passengers, 12 more for the crew and one for the missing aircraft…”
Reports also said that many families of victims of the crash succeeded in beating the two years deadline set by the Montreal Convention for law suits to be filed by dis-satisfied family members of relatives killed in plane crash.
According to reports, few days before the deadline, not less than 96 law suits had been filed by relatives of some of the dead victims.
In the same vein, about 42 families of the dead victims have received full compensations from the Malaysian authorities. The suits and the compensations have been confirmed by administrator of the Malaysian Airlines, Mohammed Faiz Azmi who in a statement made available to Asia-Pacific that “he had granted 96 requests from next of kin to file suit, and that no requests had been rejected. An additional 42 families have collected “full compensation,” he said.
Some of the affected families have however accused the Malaysian government of attempting to frustrate their suits following the restructuring of the Malaysian Airlines and reviewing of the enabling law.
“The government is trying to protect one of its businesses instead of allowing its citizens access to justice,” said Grace Nathan, a lawyer in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, whose mother was on the aircraft and who represents Voice 370, a support group for family members of passengers and crew members.”
“Arunan Selvaraj, a lawyer representing about a dozen Flight 370 claimants, said the law had put the family members at a disadvantage. “Malaysia Airlines Berhad is a totally different entity,” he said. “They are transferring the liability. By the time people file their suits, there will be nothing left in Malaysia Airlines.”
“But Malaysia’s transport minister, Liow Tiong Lai, said in an interview that the restructuring would not affect any compensation awarded to passengers’ or crew members’ relatives because the airline’s insurance would cover costs. “It should not be of any concern,” he said.”
Filing law suits and seeking compensation are some of the normal issues arising from the ill-fated 777 Boeing aircraft, but probably the most important is locating the site of the crash, retrieving the Black Box and the remains of the dead victims, to give them decent burial and to use the data in the Black Box to forestall future re-occurrence of another crash and above all to use it to improve on aircraft and aviation technology.
The importance of the above has been reinforced by some relatives of the dead victims who pleaded with Malaysian authorities not to close the search for the missing aircraft, expressing the hope that it could still be found. “My hope is that they will find the plane. I also hope that the Malaysian side will not stop the search and that they will continue until they find the plane. I heard they are going to stop. That cannot happen,” Zhang Qian, who lost her husband on the flight, told The Associated Press.
Their hope may not be misplaced after all if the example of Air France which its Black Box was only found two years after it crashed into the ocean. This was at a huge cost of $300 million to the French government.
The hope of locating the site of the Malaysian aircraft may have also been brightened lately with the reported finding of some of the parts around the Re-Union Island in the Indian Ocean.
Most heart-warming is the report that few days to the second anniversary another part believed by experts to belong to ill-fated plane had been found by the same man who on July 29, 2015 first discovered the wing of the plane.
“The man who found a wing fragment of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that disappeared nearly two years ago on a beach in the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion has found more mysterious debris, a square-shaped gray item with blue border, in nearly the same spot. Johny Begue told The Associated Press on Sunday that he found the piece about 5:30 p.m. Thursday and turned it into the gendarmerie on Friday morning. A special gendarmerie air brigade in Saint Denis, the capital of Reunion, confirmed it received the item.”
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