MH370 families face agonising wait after debris found

John and Kaylene Mann, who lost a total of four relatives on Malaysia Airlines flights MH17 and MH370. Photo: Glenn Hunt Mary and Rodney Burrows, who were on board the missing MH370. Photo: Supplied
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Danica Weeks, whose husband was aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, with their children, Lincoln (right) and Jack. Photo: Janie Barrett

Paul Weeks with his wife Danica. Photo: Supplied

The debris washed up on Reunion Island, possibly from MH370. Photo: Video still from Reuters

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The families and friends of those lost on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 now face an agonising wait for confirmation on the source of the debris that washed up on the Indian Ocean island of La Reunion.

“Initially it was happiness then sadness,” said Kaylene Mann, who lost her brother and sister-in-law Rodney and Mary Burrows. “Now it’s just up and down all the time, I don’t know,” she told Fairfax Media from Brisbane.

“I don’t know what to think but until it is proven, there’s nothing. We just need to know that it is what we think it may be.”

Mrs Mann said questions would remain even if the debris is found to be part of MH370.

“What’s that going to prove? It only confirms they are in the right area. We still need to find the whole plane.”

She said she found out about the news when she went to her local Post Office.

“I was on my way to work and got the mail and the post lady told me then they had found a piece of plane that they thought may be it … We have been speaking with the family since. They are all similar to me. Initially you think it’s good, then no it’s not really. It brings back the memories and how important it is that it is found.” I believe it is part of MH370: husband

John Mann, Kaylene’s husband, believes the wreckage is part of MH370.

“It confirms that they have been searching in the right area as far as I am concerned.

“If this is part of the aeroplane, it makes sense that it floated over there… I do think they are searching at least in the right ocean. I do believe it is part of MH370.

“Who knows what happened? It is a hell of an ocean. It looks like [the debris] has spent a fair bit of time in the ocean.”

He said families were supposed to be contacted by the government but that the media had “got hold of it first”.

“They were a little bit lax in contacting us but that is understandable. The confirmation should come from them really but it hasn’t come yet.”

Mr Mann also lost his daughter and her husband, Maree and Albert Rizk, of Melbourne, when MH17 was shot down over Ukraine. So many red herrings: victim’s wife

Danica Weeks, who lost her husband, Paul, on MH370 also spoke following the discovery of the debris. Mrs Weeks, who lives in Perth with her sons Lincoln and Jack, faces another 24 hours before she can be sure if this is the breakthrough she has waited for.

Mrs Weeks learnt of the possible development through media reports and reporters on her doorstep at 6am.

“I’ve called the Australian authorities and, look, I’m just not ready to comment on anything yet, it’s just too early to call.

“Until we know; there’s been so many red herrings, the pings, the oil [slick], the debris on the west coast, [there’s] just been so many that I’m not willing to speak about it until we know for sure that it’s actually from the plane.

“I just want to wait and see if it is a piece of a plane.” I’m terrified it could be it

Jennifer Chong, whose husband Chong Ling Tan vanished along with flight MH370, said she was terrified this could be the development she’s been waiting 509 days for.

“My initial response was that ‘this cannot be it’, since we had so many false leads before, yet I cannot stop myself searching and scavenging for more information over the internet,” she said.

“Even though I selfishly hope that it is not (MH370), I think it is the strongest chance that the truth will come out.

Ms Chong has not been contacted by Australian or Malaysian authorities about the development and she said families were relying on mainstream media for updates.

“Right now a lot of families have not come to terms with what is going to happen, probably they know but they’re just trying to avoid it,” she said.

“It is a mixed feeling because I have been waiting for 509 days, hopefully to see my husband again alive, I do selfishly hope that it is not the plane but the other part of me I have to grieve but I cannot, I haven’t even started mourning yet.

“I’m just feeling so scared that it could be it.”

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