MH370: Andrew Nari's daughter inconsolable

MH370: Andrew Nari's daughter inconsolable
Maira Elizabeth showing a family photo on her handphone on May 18, 2014.
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

KUALA LUMPUR - The eldest child of chief steward Andrew Nari could not control her grief when she received the news confirming that the flaperon was from MH370.

Maira Elizabeth Nari said: "For now, there is nothing I can say about what had happened to my father.

"I do not know what I am supposed to do after this," she said between sobs.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak confirmed that the debris found on Reunion Island a week ago was from flight MH370.

"Today, 515 days since the plane disappeared, it is with a very heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts has conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris found on Reunion Island is indeed from MH370," Najib said at a special conference on Thursday.

French prosecutors used more cautious language, saying only there was a "very high probability" the wreckage came from MH370.

The Malaysia Airlines jet disappeared on March 8 last year, inexplicably veering off course en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, sparking a colossal but ultimately fruitless multinational hunt for the aircraft.

Last week's discovery of a two-metre-long (almost seven-foot) wing part called a flaperon on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion has provided the first glimmer of hope for relatives desperate for answers.

It was examined at a military lab outside the French city of Toulouse in the presence of Malaysian and Australian experts, Boeing employees and representatives from China -- the country that lost the most passengers in the disaster.

"We now have physical evidence that, as I announced on 24th March last year, flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean," Najib said.

Malaysia Airlines hailed the news as a "major breakthrough".

"We expect and hope that there would be more objects to be found which would be able to help resolve this mystery," said the airline in a statement.

Sara Weeks, the sister of MH370 passenger Paul Weeks of New Zealand, said the confirmation ended "a week of turmoil".

"We've had 17 months of nothing... so actually finding something is the first step towards pinpointing where it is," Weeks told the Fairfax New Zealand media group.

Some families said the confirmation was not enough to lay the matter to rest, as they reiterated demands to know why the plane went off course, flying for hours after its communications and tracking systems were shut down, in what remains one of the biggest mysteries in the history of aviation.

"Now I want to know where the main body of the plane is so that we can take out the passengers and get the black box so we can know what happened. Only that, for us, will be full closure," said Jacquita Gonzales, wife of MH370 chief steward Patrick Gomes.

Gerry Soejatman, a Jakarta-based aviation consultant, said proof the flaperon came from MH370 was a "huge step".

"People want all the answers, but look, let's be real. We must be glad that we found something at all. Now we know roughly where it might have crashed.

"This answers a lot of questions actually. It eliminates other theories, conspiracy theories. If the black box is found later on, it is likely we could get more answers," he said.

The Malaysian premier gave no indication that the analysis of the debris yielded any clues into the cause of the disappearance.

"I would like to assure all those affected by this tragedy that the government of Malaysia is committed to do everything within our means to find out the truth of what happened," Najib said.

 
 
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