The Malaysian Insider
March 25, 2014
In the aftermath of the devastating news that the flight of Malaysia Airlines MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean, questions emerged whether the mystery can be solved with the discovery of the wreckage.
But the man who led the 2009 Air France crash probe cautioned that even yesterday’s announcement might not be conclusive.
“The seas and oceans are real dustbins in which we find loads of things. We found wooden crates and fragments on beaches that had nothing to do with the crash. Today we must first of all identify the debris,” Alain Bouillard told Britain’s Daily Telegraph.
Recalling the difficult task of retrieving debris of the Air France aircraft which crashed into the vast Atlantic Ocean killing 228 people, the daily listed several questions which it said could surface in the course of the investigation into MH370.
Authorities have now confirmed the incident was a tragedy, after experts calculated its final destination to be somewhere in a remote part of the southern Indian Ocean off Australia.
Emotional scenes erupted last night after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak broke the news, confirming that the flight had ended in the Indian Ocean and that the task was now to find the debris.
In an article listing six questions following the latest development, the Telegraph spoke of the huge task of getting to the main wreckage of the plane, despite deploying the latest technology to pick up signals from the black box, now the main target of investigators to unravel the mystery.
“In the case of AF447,” said the Telegraph, referring to the ill-fated Air France flight, “they had been underwater for two years – a record – and it was not known whether they would still contain any usable data.
“In fact, all the data – two hours of cockpit conversation and a wealth of flight parameters were intact. Without them, however, it is unlikely the reasons behind the crash will ever be known,” it added.
Yet another hurdle awaiting investigators is the task of making sense of the debris. Again, in the case of Air France, whose wreck was found in a limited area on the sea floor, investigators went over it “centimetre by centimetre”.
But that was the Atlantic. The Indian Ocean is notorious for its hostile environment, warned the paper.
“The southern part of the Indian Ocean is known for its strong currents, fierce winds, violent storms, 10-metre waves and heavy weather, which will only become heavier in the coming weeks.
“Most ships avoid it.” – March 25, 2014.