Hopes of finding the missing wreckage of Malaysia flight MH370 have been dashed once more, as objects retrieved by a Chinese ship were found to be nothing but floating waste.
The items were recovered from the Southern Indian Ocean by Australian and Chinese ships taking part in the international search operation for the Malaysia Airlines jet, which went missing on March 8.
However, Chinese state media reported the items were not debris from the flight.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said in a statement: “So far no objects confirmed to be related to MH370 have been recovered.”
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said that any recovered debris cannot be verified or discounted as being from Flight 370 until they are relocated and recovered by ships.
“It is not known how much flotsam, such as from fishing activities, is ordinarily there. At least one distinctive fishing object has been identified.”
The news came as Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said he refuses to give up hope of finding some of the 239 passengers and crew alive.
After personally meeting relatives of the missing passengers he said he remains committed to seeing the investigation through to its final conclusion.
“I cannot give them (relatives) false hope,” he said. “The best we can do is pray and be sensitive to them, that as long as there is even a remote chance of a survivor, we will pray and do whatever it takes.
“What they (relatives) want from us is a commitment to continue the search, and that I have given, not only on behalf of the Malaysian government but the so many nations involved.
“Miracles do happen, remote or otherwise, and that is the hope that the families want me to convey not only to the Malaysian government, MAS, but also to the world at large.”
Meanwhile, U.S. law firm Ribbick Law Chartered is currently preparing a multi-million dollar case against Malaysia Airlines and Boeing.
A petition for discovery was filed against Boeing, the manufacturer of the aircraft, and Malaysian Airlines, the operator of the plane, by the Chicago-based law firm, behalf of Januari Siregar, whose son was on the flight.
The petition asks a judge to order Malaysia Airlines and Boeing to hand over any evidence that may point to possible design or mechanical defects in the plane.
Monica Kelly, the lead lawyer in the case, said in a statement: “We believe that both defendants named are responsible for the disaster of Flight MH 370.”
Kelly said additional action may be taken against other potential defendants, including companies who designed or manufactured component parts of the plane.
She said the firm expects to represent around half of the families of those on board flight MH370 after they had been contacted by dozens of relatives from Indonesia, Malaysia and China.
Relatives and friends of the passengers said they were tortured by the uncertainty over the fate of their loved ones, as they wait for irrefutable evidence that the plane had crashed.
Sarah Bajc, the American girlfriend of U.S. passenger Philip Wood, said in an interview in Beijing: “This is the trauma of maybe he’s dead, maybe he’s not. Maybe he’s still alive and we need to find him. Maybe he died within the first hour of the flight, and we don’t know. I mean, there’s absolutely no way for me to reconcile that in my heart,” she said.
The Malaysian government has faced severe criticism for its handling of the investigation into the disappearance of the flight, after releasing contradictory statements with relatives of the missing accusing the government of ‘delays and deception’ and suggesting a cover-up.
Dozens of angry relatives earlier clashed with police after trying to storm the Malaysian embassy, demanding information and seeking the ‘truth’ about their lost loved ones.
Demonstrator Wen Wancheng, 63, whose only son Wen Yongsheng was a passenger on the ill-fated flight: “They’re all still alive, my son and everyone on board! The plane is still there too! They’re hiding it.”
Steve Wang, who had a relative on the flight said: “They don’t have any direct evidence. (Their conclusion) is only based on mathematical (analysis) and they used an uncertain mathematical model. Then they come to the conclusion that our relatives are all gone.”
Flight 370 disappeared from sight on March 8.
Investigators have been confounded by the mystery of the plane with speculation focusing on a range of theories to explain its disappearance, from equipment failure, damage to the fuselage, a suicide mission and a terror attack implicating the pilots.