PETALING JAYA: Queensland’s attorney-general has said she is prepared to consider an inquest into the deaths of four people from the state on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared nearly six years ago.
A letter from Yvette D’Ath’s chief of staff to veteran pilot and MH370 campaigner Byron Bailey says that under Queensland’s Coroner’s Act, she has the power to order an inquest, even if the deaths occurred outside Australia, The Australian reported.
The paper said the letter asked Bailey to provide new evidence about MH370 – which went missing on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board – and once received, D’Ath will consider his request for an inquest.
It said the move comes amid further developments ahead of the sixth anniversary of MH370’s disappearance, including speculation of a new search for the aircraft and a major documentary on the mystery airing on Sky News this week.
A two-year search led by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau failed to find the aircraft. A subsequent hunt by ocean survey company Ocean Infinity was also unsuccessful.
According to the report, Bailey and other aviation professionals believe the searches failed because the ATSB assumed MH370 crashed rapidly after running out of fuel on autopilot.
It said Bailey, Brisbane resident Greg Williams and another former airline captain, Mike Keane, have spent months communicating with the attorney-general’s office to persuade her to launch an inquest into the deaths of married couples Rodney and Mary Burrows, and Robert and Catherine Lawton, who were on holiday together.
It added that it was thought D’Ath would be more likely to order an inquest if one or more relatives of the Burrows and the Lawtons requested her to do so, and Williams had been in contact with some of them.