WASHINGTON: U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his visiting British counterpart Philip Hammond said on Wednesday they can not rule out anything — including terrorism — yet on what happened to the missing Malaysian Airlines jetliner.
The two defense leaders spoke at a joint news conference at Pentagon on Wednesday following their meeting focused on the Ukraine crisis. Asked if an act of terrorism or political violence can be ruled out on the missing flight, Hagel said nothing can be ruled out yet until more information emerges.
“I don’t think at this point we can rule anything in or out. I think we have to continue to search, as we are,” said Hagel.
He said that the U.S. Navy aircraft in the area will continue to work on search missions out of Malaysia and of Perth, Australia, respectively while the U.S. has also sent “two of our most sophisticated locators” to Perth.
“So until we have more information, we don’t know,” he said.
Hammond, the United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defense, agreed with Hagel that nothing could be ruled out at this stage.
“Until we recover the cockpit voice recorder, we will not know for certain,” he said, adding that the British side will continue to assist in the search.
“And we just have to hope that we will be successful in locating that vital piece of evidence,” he said.
On Wednesday, aircraft and vessels reached the southern Indian Ocean to continue the search for the missing Flight MH370, as Malaysia announced a further 122 objects that might be plane debris had been identified in satellite imagery.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced Monday evening that flight MH370, which vanished while flying to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, had ended in the southern Indian Ocean.(PNA)