Passengers on Missing Malaysian Plane Likely Suffocated

The Australian Transportation Safety Board released a new report on Thursday that says the passengers and crew aboard the missing Malaysian jetliner most likely suffocated to death, leaving the plane drifting on autopilot before crashing into the ocean farther south than previously thought.

Reuters reported that the new conclusion is based on comparisons to other flight disasters and the ATSB report had “no new evidence from within the jetliner.” The evidence they did use included the lack of communication from the crew and the flight’s steady path.

From Reuters:

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“Given these observations, the final stages of the unresponsive crew/hypoxia event type appeared to best fit the available evidence for the final period of MH370’s flight when it was heading in a generally southerly direction,” the ATSB report said.

All of that suggested that the plane most likely crashed farther south into the Indian Ocean than previously thought, Australian officials also said, leading them to announce a shift farther south within the prior search area.

The search, which has been temporarily called off, will pick up in the new location in August with a year-long effort expected to cost approximately $56 million, according to the report.

The plane, along with the 239 people on board, has been missing for more than 100 days.