UK & World News

  • 20 March 2014, 5:22

Missing Plane Families 'Let Down' By Officials

The families of the missing Malaysia Airlines passengers are being "let down" by the authorities, according to one man who went through a similar situation with the doomed Air France flight AF447.

Canadian businessman John Clemes lost his brother Brad when the French airliner crashed in a storm en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in June 2009.

Some debris was found five days later but it took nearly two years to locate the bulk of the aircraft - and, crucially, its black boxes - and piece together precisely what had gone wrong.

"They don't seem to be following some of the basic principles, which is to have one agency in control that gives information that is transparent and gives information that can be verified and isn't going to be contradicted the next day," he told Sky News.

"To that extent, the families are being let down because they are not giving them the clear information they deserve."

Some of the AF447 families have now written an open letter in support of those whose loved ones were on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

"We obviously feel a lot of empathy for them," Mr Clemes said. "We understand their situation pretty well."

Australian authorities say they may have spotted two objects possibly related to flight MH370.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the items were seen on satellite imagery in the south Indian Ocean.

There is no indication of what the objects might be, although an Australian Maritime Safety Authority spokesman said the objects were of a "reasonable size", with one about 25 metres in length.

Investigators are considering a number of theories about what happened to the missing aircraft, including hijacking, sabotage and terrorism.

However, background checks on all foreign passengers bar three from Ukraine and Russia have yielded "no information of significance", Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said.

Files from a flight simulator used by the plane's captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, are being examined by experts at the FBI, after it was revealed some data was deleted last month.

The pilot is considered innocent until proven guilty and members of his family are co-operating with the the investigation, Mr Hishammuddin said.

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