The missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, according to statements by the Malaysian prime minister and the airline this morning.
“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,” the airline said in a statement in on its Web site. News outlets, including The New York Times, reported that the airline notified family members of the 239 people aboard the flight of the announcement before it was made public this morning in Malaysia at approximately 10 a.m. local time.
Wreckage of the flight has not been recovered at this point, but new satellite imagery from British company Inmarsat and the British air safety agency suggests that the plane crashed somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean, reports the Times. The United States Pacific Command, Australia, China, and others will continue their search efforts targeting that area of the ocean in hopes of finding debris and the plane’s flight recorder, or black box.
Authorities will also continue to investigate what caused the flight to veer off course after take-off and eventually crash into the ocean, Malaysian Airlines said in its statement.
The flight’s disappearance has been subject to numerous theories, including possible hijacking and terrorism, but it is still unclear what happened onboard the plane, which took off around midnight from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing. There were 227 passengers on the flight, two-thirds of which were Chinese, and a Malaysian crew of 12.
The Malaysian authorities are planning a press conference for tomorrow to provide further details on the satellite analysis and developments of the search for the flight, according to the Times.