MH370 families call for release of raw satellite data

MH370 families call for release of raw satellite data

BEIJING - The next of kin of the passengers and crew of Flight MH370 have formed Voice370, short for MH370 Victims Families and Crew Association.

In an open letter signed by family members from China, Malaysia, the United States, New Zealand and India, it urged the Malaysian Government to release the raw Inmarsat data so that "it can be subject to broader analysis by relevant experts".

"The Inmarsat satellite data is the only lead we have and is key in identifying MH370's flight path after the plane vanished from civilian radar screens on March 8.

"In view of the lack of emergency locator transmitter activation and zero debris, we feel it is necessary that the data be subject to independent third-party review," said Voice370, which claims to represents 800 family members so far.

The letter, addressed to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Chinese President Xi Jinping, also requested the Joint Agency Coordination Centre to release the pings recorded by the towed pinger locator.

Meanwhile, family members of Chinese passengers claimed they had not been updated on the search effort since they left Lido Hotel here a week ago.

One of them, Steven Wang, said Malaysia Airlines had not been in contact via phone or e-mail.

"For instance, it was reported that the experts would re-analyse the data and information pertaining to the flight.

"We have to find out about this from the media," Wang said.

Jiang Hui, another family member, added that the families hoped to be given the Chinese version of the preliminary report released on May 1.

On advance compensation promised by MAS, Jiang said the timing did not appear to be right.

"It is not the time to initiate the payment of compensation. The Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, or Montreal Convention, provides that compensation should be given in case of death or injury of passengers.

"In the case of MH370, it is not suitable to issue compensation payment yet," said Jiang.

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