Cape Town - The battery of the underwater locator beacon on flight MH370 expired more than a year before the plane vanished over the Indian Ocean, an interim report into the aviation mystery has revealed.
The 84-page interim report issued on Sunday, on the anniversary of the plane's disappearance, 8 March, says that the expired battery in the locator beacon would have compromised the efforts of search teams to find the plane, even if they were in the right vicinity, reports Reuters.
The report, citing maintenance records, said that there was no evidence to suggest the battery was replaced before its expiry in December 2012. While such a battery can operate past its expiry date, the report said, it was not guaranteed that it will work or that it would meet the 30-day minimum requirement, CNN reports.
Also see: Infographic: MH370 timeline and range of search
The oversight of the run-down battery has been blamed on a failure to properly update a computer system in the engineering department of Malaysia Airlines, Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation said in the report, Sydney's Business Day reported.
The new evidence could prove key in legal action against Malaysia Airlines after the fruitless search.
The lawyers of the families affected in the tragedy says they hope this new evidence would aid in the families gaining compensation.
Reuters reported that US law firm Kreindler & Kreindler LP, which is representing around 20 families, have said the expired battery was potentially very significant in determining compensation if it had hurt the search for the missing plane.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing is believed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean after veering off course on March 8 last year.
Also see: Air travel safer in 2014 despite Malaysian disasters - IATA
Despite the tragic MH370, and a similarly tragic MH17 Malaysian Air disasters last year, IATA reports reveal that 2014 was by some measures the safest in the history of commercial aviation!
While more people died in air accidents in 2014 than the average in recent years, the number of fatal accidents compared with the total number of flights was a record low, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
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