Australia to provide aid to MH370 families

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014


SYDNEY -- The families of those lost in Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will be given assistance by the Australian government to travel to Australia, if any wreckage is found, said China's Xinhua news agency Tuesday.

Australian Defense Minister David Johnston told the Australia's Fairfax radio that Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was concerned about the families and wanted to help them.

"I know the prime minister is very, very concerned that we extend every possible courtesy," Johnson told Fairfax radio.

"They have had an emotional roller-coaster for two weeks, my heart goes out to them. We will do everything we can to give them some semblance of closure, in what we now know is a very serious disaster," Johnson added.

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced in Kuala Lumpur Monday night that new data showed the plane with 239 people on board had crashed into the southern Indian Ocean, following its disappearance more than two weeks ago.

"It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that in light of this new data, MH370 flight ended in the southern Indian Ocean," he said in a statement.

Malaysia Airlines said it would help the families to travel to Australia once they receive approval from the investigating authorities.

"Arrangements will be made to bring the families to the recovery area, and until that time we will continue to support the ongoing investigation," it said in a statement.

The search for debris in the ocean, southwest of Perth, was suspended on Tuesday due to bad weather.

Meanwhile, Chinese relatives of the missing passengers marched Tuesday to the Malaysia Embassy, where they threw plastic water bottles, tried to rush the gate and chanted, "Liars!" [Read the related story.]

Among the flight's 239 passengers, 153 were Chinese nationals. (PNA)

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