Jet Search Turns to Black Boxes—Amid Protests

Bad weather halts search for debris

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 25, 2014 4:18 AM CDT | Updated Mar 25, 2014 7:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – With the news that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is now believed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean with all lives lost, searchers are now in a race against time to recover the aircraft's black boxes before the battery signal is lost, possibly in less than two weeks from now. The US Navy is sending a black box finder called a Towed Pinger Locator to the area along with a mini-sub, reports NBC. In other developments:

  • The search for debris was suspended today amid bad weather, and Australian officials say high winds and rain mean the search in the "extremely remote" area of the Indian Ocean probably won't resume for another 24 hours, the BBC reports. "We're not searching for a needle in a haystack," an Australian Defense Force official told reporters. "We're still trying to define where the haystack is."

  • In Beijing, furious relatives of the 154 Chinese passengers clashed with police outside the Malaysian embassy, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. In a statement, the families accused Malaysia Airlines and the Malaysian government of "wasting a large quantity of human resources and materials and lost valuable time for the rescue effort," saying that if the 154 passengers are indeed dead, the Malaysians are the "real executioners."
  • The Chinese government is also calling for more information, demanding that Malaysia turn over the data that led it to conclude the plane had been lost.
  • "We all feel enormous sorrow and pain," said the chief of Malaysia Airlines, which has offered relatives of passengers an initial $5,000 payment while the search continues. He declined to comment on whether he would step down when his part in the investigation has concluded, reports CNN.

Chinese relatives of passengers shout in protest as they march towards the Malaysian embassy in Beijing today.
Chinese relatives of passengers shout in protest as they march towards the Malaysian embassy in Beijing today.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Chinese relatives of passengers  scuffle with police officers outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing today.
Chinese relatives of passengers scuffle with police officers outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing today.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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