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Malaysia sets international expert panel to probe plane's mystery

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More than five weeks after the disappearance of a Malaysian airliner the Kuala Lumpur government says it is going to launch an international expert panel to probe the plane’s mystery.

Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said on Thursday that the Malaysian cabinet would discuss forming the panel to look into the incident.

“We are forming a panel of inquiry consisting of experts from around the world…who are respected, credible and who will make decisions and investigate without fear or favor,” media outlets quoted the minister as saying.

The Malaysian government has already started investigating civil aviation and military authorities over their confused initial response to Flight MH370.

Tensions mount between civilian and military authorities over who bears most responsibility for the initial confusion. The uncertainty and mistakes also led to a week-long search in the wrong place.

Meanwhile, a mini-submarine searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane has completed its first full mission at the third attempt. The search to spot the remains of the plane has been futile so far.

The Malaysian transport minister also told reporters that the team is expected to further narrow the search area based on the latest clues. He said the focus will now be on enhanced underwater search.

There is growing frustration among the family members of the missing passengers as search operations drag on.

The minister added that Malaysia and Australia are making preparations to send the passengers’ families to the search zone near the Australian city of Perth.

Flight MH370 with hundreds onboard was on its way from Kuala Lampur to Beijing when it suddenly disappeared from air traffic control radar on March 8. No debris from the plane has been found yet.


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