Missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: Government to release plane investigation report

Preliminary report on plane's disappearance is expected to be released today, almost two months after the jetliner vanished

Authorities involved in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have announced plans to release a preliminary report of their investigation, seven weeks after the jetliner disappeared with 239 people on board.

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the report will be similar to the one the government sent to the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Local media quoted Mr Hussein as saying the report would be made public today, but gave no further details.

On Sunday, the Malaysian prime minister finally confirmed reports that the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was tracked by military radar.

Speaking to CNN, Mr Najib Razak confirmed that the radar did indeed track the plane once it had turned back from its original flight path – but said that this was only established “after the event”.

He said he believed there was someone monitoring the radar at the time, but that nothing more was done to investigate the unidentified aircraft because “it was deemed not to be hostile”.

“It behaved like a commercial airline, following a normal flight path,” Mr Razak said.

The Boeing 777 jet disappeared 8 March while travelling from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing. The search for the plane, which is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, is continuing and could last for months.

Malaysia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Britain and the US are assisting Australia in trying to solve the most expensive search in aviation history.

At least $44 million (£26 million) was spent on the deployment of military ships and aircraft in the Indian Ocean and South China Sea in the first month of the search, about the same as was spent on the whole underwater search for Air France's Flight AF447, which crashed into the Mid-Atlantic in 2009.

"I will be going to Australia to discuss the next phase. As we go into deep sea search it's important that cost is discussed and we'll discuss with all stakeholders," Mr Hussein told reporters.

"Hopefully by next week we will announce the cost sharing. But we won't know what the cost will be until we decide where we're going to search, what assets we will use and who will deploy those assets."

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