An interim report released by the Malaysian government has no new clues about what happened to the missing MH370, which is believed to have crashed somewhere in the Indian ocean.The report, which was published on the first anniversary of the plane's disappearance, said that an underwater locator beacon battery had expired a year earlier, but it did not say whether this hindered the international search efforts in locating the missing plane.
The report contains detailed technical information, in essence compiling information that has already been made public by authorities in the past. The missing aircraft's maintenance record as well as military radar tracking records have also been released. The report comes after scatching criticism from Malaysian opposition as well as from families of the passengers onboard of the way the incumbent government has handled the search operation.
The government has long-maintained that the plane crashed somewhere in a remote part of the southern Indian ocean, but a clumsy response to the tragedy has resulted in a loss of credibility for the government. Many relatives of the passengers still believe there could be survivors.
Tony Abbott, the Australian Prime Minister, said to reporters: "We owe it to the families of the dead, we owe it to the travelling public to do whatever we reasonably can to resolve of this mystery." Meanwhile, his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak said: "No words can describe the pain the families of those on board are going through. The lack of answers and definitive proof - such as aircraft wreckage - has made this more difficult to bear."
MH370 was flying to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on a routine flight with 239 passengers and crew onboard when it disappeared. Its disappearance sparked an unprecedented international effort to locate the plane. Eight countries have assisted in the search, which is being led by Malaysian authorities. The Malaysian government has sought assistance of the FBI, interpol and several other international law enforcement agencies as well, but the search team has been unable to locate the plane despite the world's most expensive search operation.