KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (3/24/14) – Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak held a press conference early Monday to discuss a new analysis of satellite data indicating Flight 370 crashed into a remote corner of the Indian Ocean.
"It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean," said Razak.
The flight, which had 239 passengers and crew aboard, disappeared March 8, and the more than two-week search had shown up empty until today.
Twenty-six nations worldwide have been scouring a wide area of ocean and land in Asia. The location of the plane is still unknown, but debris was spotted Monday by Australian and Chinese planes close to where multiple satellites have detected possible remains of the lost airliner, said CBS News.
The plane, on a routine flight to Beijing, has not been ruled out as mechanical or electrical failure, hijacking, sabotage or terrorism, according to investigators.
CBS News reports that officials have said the plane automatically sent a brief "ping" or signal event after other communication had shut down.
Data drawn from the pings made it clear that the plane's last position was in the middle of the remote southern Indian Ocean, "far from any possible landing sites," officials told CNN news.
China is paying "high attention" to the Malaysian announcement, according to CNN. Chinese citizens made up about two-thirds of the passengers on the missing Boeing 777. China has asked authorities there for "all information and evidence leading up to such a conclusion," according to a statement posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry's website.
CBS News Aviation and Safety Expert Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger said that some "missteps" early in the investigation may have impaired the search effort.
"Here we are ... into the third week of the investigation and just now beginning to re-narrow the search to areas that are still as large as the United States," Sully said on Meet the Press.
Prime Minister Razak said that Malaysia Airlines has informed the families of passenger of the plane's fate, according to CBS News.
"For them, the past few weeks have been heartbreaking," said Razak. "I know this news must be harder still."See the special report on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, by going to CBSnews.com.
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