Malaysia’s civil aviation boss resigns after investigation into disappearance of MH370, 4 years ago

Click to play video: 'MH370 families hope mistakes ‘are not repeated’ after investigation report'
MH370 families hope mistakes ‘are not repeated’ after investigation report
WATCH ABOVE: MH370 families hope mistakes 'are not repeated' after investigation report – Jul 30, 2018

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Malaysia’s civil aviation chief said Tuesday he has resigned to take responsibility after an independent investigative report highlighted shortcomings in the air traffic control centre during Malaysia Airlines Flight 370’s disappearance four years ago.

The report released Monday raised the possibility that the jet may have been hijacked even though there was no conclusive evidence of why it went off course and flew for over seven hours after severing communications.

READ MORE: Flight MH370 likely manipulated off course, investigators can’t rule out 3rd party ‘interference’

Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said the report didn’t blame the civil aviation department for the plane’s loss but found that the Kuala Lumpur air traffic control centre failed to comply with operating procedures.

“Therefore, it is with regret and after much thought and contemplation that I have decided to resign as chairman of Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia,” he said in his statement, adding he has presented his resignation and will step down in two weeks.

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WATCH: What happened on Flight MH370 may never be known

The jet carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing vanished March 8, 2014, and is presumed to have crashed in the far southern Indian Ocean. The investigative report, prepared by a 19-member international team, said the cause of the disappearance cannot be determined until the wreckage and the plane’s black boxes are found.

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However, the report said the investigation showed lapses by air traffic control, including a failure to swiftly initiate an emergency response and monitor radar continuously, relying too much on information from Malaysia Airlines and not getting in touch with the military for help.

WATCH: Daughter of flight MH370 passenger says it’s ‘not time to give up’ despite the latest search for the plane ending
Click to play video: 'Daughter of flight MH370 passenger says it’s ‘not time to give up’ on search for plane'
Daughter of flight MH370 passenger says it’s ‘not time to give up’ on search for plane

New Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke said Tuesday the government has formed a committee to investigate and take action on any misconduct based on the report’s findings.

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The report said there was insufficient information to determine if the aircraft broke up in the air or during impact with the ocean.

READ MORE: 4-year-search for missing MH370 plane officially ends: Will the mystery ever be solved?

Scattered pieces of debris that washed ashore on African beaches and Indian Ocean islands indicated a distant remote stretch of the ocean where the plane likely crashed. But a government search by Australia, Malaysia and China failed to pinpoint a location. And a second, private search by U.S. company Ocean Infinity that finished at the end of May also found no sign of a crash site.

Grace Subathirai Nathan, whose mother was aboard the plane, said the outcome could have been different if Malaysia’s air traffic control didn’t commit “horrible mistakes.”

She welcomed the “display of accountability” by Azharuddin, who headed operations at the time of the jet’s disappearance and gave daily media briefings, but said he has “taken the easy way out.”

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“He has not explained the failings of the controllers, why it happened, what caused it? Was (it) incompetence? Was it neglect? What was it?” she wrote on Facebook.

“I hope that immediate action is taken against all the people who made these mistakes as a lesson for these people who hold a huge responsibility to take their jobs more seriously so that we can avoid disasters like this from happening again,” Nathan said.

Malaysia’s government has said it will resume searching if credible evidence of the plane’s location emerges.

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