Search for missing Malaysia Airlines jet: As it happened on Tuesday

After Malaysia Airlines yesterday ended all hopes for any survivors by saying that the ill-fated plane ended in Indian Ocean, the rough weather today over the search area forced all operations to be suspended today.

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha and Tarun Khanna

21: 00 pm: Search operation suspended for today

The Australian authorities on Tuesday said that the search operation for the missing plane was halted by the unfavourable weather conditions. Since the high winds and rain hampered the rescue operation, the search operation has been suspended for today.

As per the authorities, the hunt for MH370 will now resume on Wednesday.

19:20 pm: US Navy sends special ship to retrieve black box

The US Navy has deployed special ship in the area where MH370 is believed to have crashed. The special ship will search for the aircraft`s black box. If found, the box may unravel the mystery of flight MH370.

A towed Pinger Locator, which has been sent by the US Navy, is a sound sensitive device that can hear the black box pinger down to a depth of 20,000 feet.

As per the US Navy, the ship is due to arrive in Australia on Wednesday.Officials are hoping the so-called Towed Pinger Locator 25 may help locate MH370.

19: 10 pm: China president Xi Jinping to send special envoy to Malaysia

Chinese president Xi Jinping has asked a special envoy to meet Malaysian government and discuss over missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

He has ordered the envoy to ask Malaysia to provide more detailed and accurate information on the plane.

18:00 pm: Brief scuffle between police, relatives of MH370 passengers

The relatives of those aboard flight MH370 carried a protest outside Malaysian embassy in Beijing after Malaysia PM Najib Razak expressed sympathies for those at the receiving end of the jet tragedy on Tuesday.

Many protesters left their Beijing hotel and headed for Malaysian embassy, carrying banners asking Kuala Lumpur to be truthful with the relatives.

The protesters threw water bottles at the embassy and tried to storm the building, demanding to meet the ambassador. This resulted in a brief scuffle between the protesters and the group of relatives, as reported by BBC.

4:10 pm: Malaysia airlines staring at bankruptcy?

With liabilities for the lost Flight MH370 topping $40 million, Malaysia Airlines might be staring at a possible bankruptcy, said a CCTV news report.

In what the report called as a “dagger in the heart” for Malaysia Airlines, the airline might be on the verge of bankruptcy as it had already suffered a whopping amount of annual loss.

The Malaysia Airlines had posted a massive figure of RM1.2 billion (S$462 million) loss for its 2013 financial year this Feb, more than double the loss faced by the airline last year (2012).

And the MH370 tragedy might work as the last straw on the camel`s back.
03:45 pm: `Search called off in northern corridor`

As it has now been said that the Malaysia Airlines flight 370`s last position was in the mid of southern Indian Ocean, the search operation has been called off in the northern corridor, Malaysian minister Hishammuddin Hussein said. He added that all search efforts will now concentrate on southern part of Southern Corridor.

He also said that six Chinese ships are expected to arrive near Flight MH370`s last known position on Wednesday morning.

03:20 pm: Malaysia Transport Minister says challenge no longer diplomatic but technical

Addressing reporters in the daily news briefing, Malaysia`s Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said that the search challenge was no longer diplomatic, but technical and logistical.

02:45 pm: Malaysia PM tweets for the lost passengers

Expressing sympathies for those at the receiving end of the Malaysian jet tragedy, PM Najib Razak tweeted that the passengers, crew and their aggrieved families were in his thoughts.

He also thanked all those involved in the search operation including military and civil personnel from Malaysia & around the world for putting their best in the search efforts.

02:30 pm: AMSA says search will resume Wednesday

In a fresh update the Australian Maritime Safety Authority informed that a visual search to hunt for the debris of the Malaysian jet will resume on Wednesday as "weather is expected to improve after gale force winds and heavy swells resulted in the suspension of the search operation on Tuesday".

The AMSA added that as many as twelve aircraft are expected to be involved in the search tomorrow, including seven military
aircraft and five civil aircraft.

01:50 pm: Malaysian Airlines hunt in `recovery and investigation phase`, says Aus PM

The search operation for the ill-fated plane has moved into "a recovery and investigation phase", said Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

"I have offered Malaysia, as the country legally responsible for this, every assistance and co-operation from Australia," he added.

12:00 pm: Chinese passengers` kins call Malaysia Airlines, govt and military the "real murderers"

After the Malaysian PM yesterday announced that MH370 had ended in ocean, the Malaysia Airlines MH370 Family Committee accused the Malaysian government, military and the airline of cheating the people, by wasting human resources and hiding the facts deliberately.

In a scathing statement issued on Tuesday the committee of the aggrieved family members said, “If we are to remember our 154 relatives, we have lost their precious lives. So Malaysia Airlines, the Malaysian government and the Malaysian military are the real murderers of our family members.”

11:40 am: Tragic day for Malaysia Airlines, says chairman

Calling the MH370 tragedy as an "unprecedented event" that required "an unprecedented response", Malaysia Airlines Chairman Tan Sri Md Nor Md Yusof expressed regret on Tuesday saying that it was a very sad and tragic day for Malaysia Airlines

"While not entirely unexpected after an intensive multi-national search across a 2.24 million square mile area, this news is clearly devastating for the families of those on board," he added in a statement.

11:30 am: Angry family members hurl water bottles at Malaysia Embassy in China

Enraged, anguished and bereaved - the family members of the lost MH370 passengers protested outside the guarded gates of Malaysia Embassy in Beijing, throwing water bottles.

Some of the relatives of passengers also clashed with police outside the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing, the Reuters said.

11:00 am: Malaysia Airlines pays $5,000 per passenger to the next of kin

Admitting that the prolonged search for the plane was adding to the "financial strain on the relatives" of the passengers, Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said the airline has paid an initial financial assistance of $5,000 per passenger to the next of kin. He added that the airline was preparing to provide additional payments in the future.

10:55 am: Aus PM Tony Abbott says victims` kins welcome to Australia

Sympathising with the kins of the lost passengers who were in despair and avidly wanted to be in the know of the search operation details, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said they were welcome to visit the country.

He added that it has been a "desperately difficult time for thousands and thousands of people right around the globe, particularly in China as well as in Malaysia".

10:25 am: "We don`t know why, we don`t know how", says MA CEO on MH370 tragedy

Seeking to console the aggrieved families, Malaysian Airlines CEO Mr Yahya said that the last night`s announcement suggesting that there were no survivors, was a reality that must be accepted.

"We do not know why, we do not know how, we do not know how this terrible tragedy happened," he added.

"We all feel enormous sorrow and pain. Sorrow that all those who boarded Flight MH370 on Saturday 8 March will not see their families again... It must be remembered too that 13 of our own colleagues and fellow Malaysians were also on board."

10:25 am: `Not looking for needle, but the haystack"

Explaining the extent of difficulty in searching for the missing plane, Australian Defence Force vice chief Mark Binskin hinted that the investigators were not yet completely sure about the search area, let alone finding the jet debris.

"We`re not searching for a needle in a haystack. We`re still trying to define where the haystack is," he said.

10:20 am: `Search operation unlikely to begin in next 24 hrs`

The search operation to trace the debris of the ill-fated plane was unlikely to begin within next 24 hours, said Australian Defense Minister David Johnston on Tuesday. Earlier, AMSA had informed of rough weather over the search area in southern Indian Ocean.

10:15 am: Malaysia Airlines jet hunt "massive logistical exercise"

Thanking the countries involved in the search efforts, Aus Defence Minister David Johnston said, that the search mission was a "massive logistical exercise" and "one of the largest efforts you`ll ever see in terms of maritime surveillance".
He added that it "is an extremely remote part of the world".

10:10 am: Malaysia Airlines CEO expresses condolences for the families of victims

Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, CEO of Malaysia Airlines extended prayers and condolences to the families of the MH370 victims, saying,
"My heart breaks to think of the unimaginable pain suffered by all the family members... Everyone in Malaysia Airlines family is praying for the 239 souls on MH370 and for their loved ones on this dark day. We extend our prayers and sincere condolences".

10:05 am: Malaysia Airlines press conference starts

Officials of Malaysia Airlines are addressing a press conference in Kuala Lumpur to express condolences for the families of lost passengers.

9:50 am: "Give our family back"

Lido Hotel in Malaysia, where the family members of the lost MH370 passengers were camped, witnessed some emotional and chaotic scenes as the agitated and anguished kins tried to push past the police lines and shouted "Give our fanily back", reported the BBC.

9:20 am: Families erupt in anger as Malaysian officials arrive in Lido Hotel

Aggrieved with the news that the plane crashed in Indian Ocean, the kins of Chinese passengers aboard MH370, erupted in anger and protest as the officials of Malaysia Airlines official arrived in the Lido Hotel, reported CCTV news.

9:00 am: America`s Black Box locator, underwater vehicle flown to Perth for search mission

To help trace the Black Box of the Malaysian jet that is said to have crashed in the Indian Ocean, the US has flown a black box locator and an underwater vehicle to Perth.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters Monday that a “Towed Pinger Locator 25” as well as a Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle were placed on a chartered jet and flown out of John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

The locator is a highly sensitive listening device designed to hone in on the black box. The Bluefin-21 has a side-scan sonar and a multibeam echosounder, Rear Adm. Kirby said. The Bluefin-21 can operate at 14,700 feet, he said.

8:30 am: Rough sea halts search operation today

After Malaysia Airlines yesterday ended all hopes for any survivors by saying that the ill-fated plane ended in Indian Ocean, the rough weather today over the search area forced all operations to be suspended today, said the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

“Due to rough seas, HMAS Success departed the search area early this morning and is now in transit
south of the search area until seas abate. A sea state ranging between 7 to 8 is forecast today with
waves up to two metres and an associated swell of up to four metres,” said AMSA in a statement.

The search area is expected to face strong gale force winds of up to 80km/h, heavy rains and low cloud, added AMSA.