Grief and confusion hits in the wake of MH370 discovery
THE search for wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 might have paused due to bad weather, but nothing slowed the ripples of confusion, grief and damage-control.
The family of passengers Rodney and Mary Burrows grieved.
Their Central Queensland parents Irene and George said they were coping "the best they can" with news their son and daughter-in-law almost certainly died when the plane crashed.
The two were among the 239 on board the flight bound for Beijing from Malaysia that disappeared on March 8.
The Boeing 777 is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, about 2500km south-west of Perth.
Rodney and Mary's son Jayden led a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, describing his heartbreak at having lost his parents.
Reading from a statement, he said, "Our family is trying to come to terms with this terrible tragedy. We dearly love and will miss Mum and Dad."
Central Queensland University head of aviation Ron Bishop - and veteran of Operation Desert Storm - compared the loss of the Boeing 777 to "something out of the Bermuda Triangle".
He said although the hunt for wreckage could take months or years, answers would eventually come.
Small pieces could be examined for evidence of an explosion or damage, he said, which would confirm or rule out different theories.
He said the process would eventually show how the plane came to be so far off course.
In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Airlines chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya vowed to support the families of those on board.
He defended the company's decision to send almost 1000 mobile text messages, telling relatives their loved-ones were unlikely to have survived.
"Our sole and only motivation last night was to ensure that in the incredibly short amount of time available to us, the families heard the tragic news before the world did," Mr Yahya said.
Where it was "humanly possible", the executive said Malaysia Airlines spoke to families either in person or by telephone, he said.
Earlier, Air Marshal Mark Binskin told reporters in Perth the search area off Western Australia was being "continually refined" as new data arrived.
When asked how authorities could be sure the plane went down in the area, Air Marshal Binskin said it was based on "the best information we have".
The search for MH370 has so far involved Australia, New Zealand, the United States, China and Japan.
It is expected to restart once weather conditions improve.