In a shocking move that many people are calling cruel and insensitive, Malaysia Airlines texted the families of the 239 people on the missing jet on March 24 to tell them that the flight remains lost and that no one on board survived.
The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 continues, but family members were coldly texted the tragic news that their loved ones were believed to be dead, shortly before Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced during a March 24 press conference that the missing plane had crashed in a remote part of the Indian Ocean.
Malaysia Airlines’ Passengers Dead: Text Message Sent To Families About Crash
Prime Minister Razak revealed in the press conference that the flight had been tracked to “a remote location, far from any possible landing sites,” off the coast of Perth, Australia, New York magazine reports. “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,” he said.
The passengers’ families were informed of this devastating news ahead of the press conference — but not long before it — via text.
This is the full text message that the airline sent to family members of the MH370 passengers:
Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean. As you will hear in the next hour from Malaysia’s Prime Minister, new analysis of satellite data suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean.
On behalf of all of us at Malaysia Airlines and all Malaysians, our prayers go out to all the loved ones of the 226 passengers and of our 13 friends and colleagues at this enormously painful time.
We know there are no words that we or anyone else can say which can ease your pain. We will continue to provide assistance and support to you, as we have done since MH370 first disappeared in the early hours of 8 March, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The ongoing multinational search operation will continue, as we seek answers to the questions which remain. Alongside the search for MH370, there is an intensive investigation, which we hope will also provide answers.
We would like to assure you that Malaysia Airlines will continue to give you our full support throughout the difficult weeks and months ahead.
Once again, we humbly offer our sincere thoughts, prayers and condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy.
Malaysia Airlines has since released an additional statement explaining that “SMSs were used only as an additional means of communicating with the families,” according to New York magazine.
Malaysia Flight Photos Altered: Officials Admit To Photoshopping Pictures
The outrage over the insensitive texts comes on the heels of Malaysian police officials’ admission that photos in the investigation had been “accidentally” altered.
Images released of two men who boarded the Boeing 777 with stolen passports, showed them both wearing the same exact pants and shoes. The fact that the two men appeared to have an identical set of legs in the photos caused an outrage on Twitter, with people demanding answers about what seemed to be Photoshopped pictures.
Malaysian police admitted that the misleading photos were the result of an accident that occurred when the images were placed on top of each other while they were being photocopied, the UK’s Daily Mail reports.
A spokesperson said that it was not “done with malice or to mislead.”
The two men in the photos, who were believed to be seeking asylum from Iran, have been identified as Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad, 19, and Delavar Seyed Mohammadreza, 29.
What do YOU think, HollywoodLifers? Was it cruel of Malaysia Airlines to text the news that the plane had crashed to the passengers’ families? Let us know.
— Tierney McAfee