Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai has confirmed that an interim report on the investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will be released at 3pm local time on 8 March. Although there will be no official memorial to mark the second anniversary of the missing plane, Dewan Rakyat (Parliament) will observe a moment of silence.
Liow said that the report would be released by the Malaysian International Civil Aviation Organisation Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370. The Chief Investigator Kok Soo Chon will release the statement via a televised broadcast on the state TV RTM 1.
"The statement will be uploaded to the official MH370 website www.mh370.gov.mywhere it will first be made available to the next-of-kin only, and subsequently made public at 3pm Malaysian time," the Minister said.
On the search for the aircraft in the Indian Ocean, Liow said that nearly 90,000 sq km of the 120,000 sq km of the targeted search area had already been covered, yielding more than 500 findings. However, after detailed analysis by experts, none of these have given any fresh leads, he added.
On the two pieces of debris discovered recently in Mozambique and Reunion Island, Liow said that Malaysia was still awaiting for verification. Liow had already said that there is a high possibility that the debris found off Mozambique came from a Boeing 777. The man who found the first confirmed part of the Boeing 777, a flaperon, has found another piece of debris on Reunion Island on 6 March.
In a separate statement, Australia's Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said: "As we search the remaining 30,000 sq km zone in the days and months ahead, Australia, Malaysia and the People's Republic of China remain hopeful the aircraft will be found. I assure the family and friends of those on board that their loved ones have not been forgotten and continue to be in our thoughts."
He continued: "We owe it to their memory, and to the loved ones who mourn them, to honour the undertaking to complete the search of the area experts have determined as most likely to contain the missing aircraft. Finding the aircraft would give answers to the world, in particular the families of missing loved ones, about what happened."