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No new findings in MH370 probe report, families say

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters): Families of passengers on board missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 said on Monday that an investigation report released to them offered no new findings to explain the plane’s mysterious disappearance.

The report comes two months after Malaysia called off a privately funded underwater search for the aircraft carrying 239 people that disappeared on its way to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014, in one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries.

The report highlighted mistakes and protocols and guidelines that were not followed, however, the families told reporters after a briefing on the report, set for release to the media at 0630 GMT.

“We hope that these mistakes will not be repeated and that measures are put in place to prevent them in the future,” said Grace Nathan, a lawyer whose mother, Anne Daisy, was on the plane.

“The one point they stressed was that this report was not to assign blame, it was only a safety investigation,” she said, adding that the investigators were limited in their effort, as it was based on information supplied to them.

On May 29, Malaysia called off a three-month search by US firm Ocean Infinity that spanned 112,000 square kilometres in the southern Indian Ocean and ended with no significant findings.

It was the second major search after Australia, China and Malaysia ended a fruitless $147 million search across an area of 120,000 sq km last year.

Voice 370, a group representing the relatives, has previously urged the Malaysian government for a review of the flight, including “any possible falsification or elimination of records related to MH370 and its maintenance”.

The families said the report pointed to mistakes by the Malaysian air traffic control (ATC) centre. It showed there were only two attempted phone calls made to the aircraft from the ground, four to five hours apart.

The investigators could not provide adequate answers as to why no other calls were made after the jetliner went off the radar, Grace added.

Investigators looking into why the Boeing 777 veered thousands of miles off its scheduled route before eventually plunging into the Indian Ocean believe someone may have deliberately switched off MH370’s transponder before diverting it over the Indian Ocean.

Newly-elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said Malaysia will consider resuming the search for MH370 only if new clues come to light.

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