MH370: 'It Just Disappeared,' Says Chief Search Coordinator

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By Athena Yenko | May 14, 2014 4:45 PM EST

Angus Houston, chief search coordinator for the Joint Agency Coordination Centre in Australia, has shared what he thought was the main reason there were so much frustration, confusion and criticism surrounding the search for the missing MH370.

"Initially, the aircraft - well, simply put, it just disappeared. And I guess in this day and age, that surprised a lot of people," he told CNN's Anna Coren in an interview.

With MH370 "just disappeared," Houston said families were left in a limbo.

"To have a set of circumstances where you don't know what's happened to your loved ones in circumstances such as this, it's just a terrible, terrible emotional trauma of all of those involved," he said.

MH370 had become a global interest because everybody travels in airplanes, he explained.

"And beyond that, the wider public has a great interest in what happened here because we all fly in airplanes, and we all fly long distances over water, and a lot of people want to know what happened and why it happened."

He recognized the tragedy might have been prevented if transponders for aircrafts were created with a system that would be impossible to turn off.

"I think that's something that we, as a world community, have to correct as soon as possible. We need to have jetliners that are equipped with some sort of tracking device that can't be turned off, that can be tracked all of the time. And with satellite technology available, I think that can be done in the near future."

Because the plane just disappeared, conclusion on MH370 was more obscure than Air France Flight 447, which disappeared in the Atlantic Ocean in 2009.

"The big difference between Air France 447 and MH370 is that the last known position, in terms of MH370, is at the top of the Malacca Straits, and then the aircraft continued to fly for an extended period after that. Whereas Air France, they had a very good last known position, which then turned out to be very close to where the aircraft was eventually found."

The interview might have an implication that the Mh370 could end in oblivion, but Houston vowed amid all negative reports, the search team is doing a "groundbreaking work." He upheld that all four pings should not be ruled out.

"Without that, we would be essentially searching the whole of the Indian Ocean, and I think the chances of finding the aircraft in those circumstances would have been slim. I think by having this defined search area ... I think eventually we will find the aircraft."

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