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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Search Suspended For Missing Plane; Search Suspended for Missing Plane; 14 Dead, 100+ Missing In Landslide; U.S., Other Nations Kick Russia Out of G8
Aired March 24, 2014 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Next breaking news, the search for missing Flight 370 has just been suspended. We are live in Perth for the latest.
And the Malaysian government says the plane crashed into the Indian Ocean killing everyone on board based on satellite data. Just how sure are they?
Breaking news in Washington State tonight, we will go live to the scene of a deadly landslide. More than 100 people still missing at this moment. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT on this Monday, we begin with the breaking news, the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has just been suspended. Search planes scheduled to take off from Perth, Australia. The hunt for the remains of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, right now, are grounded, weather the issue.
This morning the Malaysian prime minister with very little warning, spoke to the world, for only the second time since the flight disappeared. His message, there are no survivors.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NAJIB RAZAK, MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER: Its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean west of Perth. It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that according to this new data Flight 370 ended in the Southern Indian Ocean.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: This is based on a new type of analysis never before used by a British company. We are going to talk to Inmarsat's senior vice president in just a moment. But first some of the families of those missing aboard the flight are still asking for proof. They don't believe so is the Chinese government demanding the Malaysian government provide more evidence and more information.
Tonight the huge mystery is still unsolved as to what or who brought down Flight 370. Was it a pilot plot, hijacking, a terrifying mechanical malfunction or something else? We begin our coverage tonight with Kyung Lah in Perth, and obviously Kyung, the breaking news is that the search has been suspended. The weather where you are obviously looks fine. The planes have to fly far away.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Four hours directly southwest of where I am standing it is almost a different state, a different part of the country, if you will. That is how far away it is. We are just getting this news from the Australian government and it is extremely disappointing news to the people trying to bring back that proof for the families. Announcing that they will not be flying today, that the search teams that is multi governmental will not be taking to the air today. Why? Because of weather.
It is so bad that the Australian plane, the naval ship at sea in that area that has been combing through that sea has had to move out of that area, as well. Waves are 6.5 feet tall, swells 13 feet. The problem for planes is that the winds are quite strong, 80 kilometers per hour and cloud cover at 200 to 500 feet. These are simply not ideal conditions to do what they are trying to do, which is use their eyes to try to find any debris. It is very tough out there, Erin, too tough and too dangerous to fly today -- Erin.
BURNETT: Too dangerous to fly and they are relying on those eyes. I know, Kyung, to try to help some of the ships that they have there trying to go through and look for by eye, as well. What exactly have they found so far? How specific have they been?
LAH: They have been fairly specific as far as debris yesterday. Yesterday was seen as progress. There was an Australian plane that discovered some debris in one section of the search area at the same time a Chinese plane found some debris in another area. So you had two debris spots. They dropped some beacons from the sky from those planes and then the Australian ship has to get out there in order to retrieve the debris. It didn't happen yesterday. The weather did start to turn yesterday. We don't know if that is why the debris wasn't able to be retrieved. But we do know now they simply can't go back to that job today.
BURNETT: All right, Kyung Lah, thank you very much, reporting live this morning. Tomorrow morning obviously as the case may be from Perth, Australia. Joining me now is Chris McLaughlin, the senior vice president of Inmarsat. Chris, thank you very much taking the time. You know, families, of course, are asking for proof. They want to see this plane. They want DNA evidence. They want to know for sure. The foreign minister of China, deputy foreign minister has said to the Malaysian authorities, give us more evidence. Obviously, I know, you understand their hesitancy. We've seen so many reverses, of course, in this investigation. But are you 100 percent sure the plane went down in the Indian Ocean?
CHRISTOPHER MCLAUGHLIN, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, INMARSAT: Well, we are as sure -- we have been looking at the ping data for the last six or seven days comparing it on our network with other Malaysia airlines. It has enabled us to correlate the ping data with the Southern Indian Ocean. There is simply no match. On that basis after it was peer reviewed by another satellite and space company and then also the investigation board the Malaysian prime minister made the announcement today. BURNETT: Did you know he was going to do it after the conversation? He began by saying he wanted to make the announcement. Do you feel in any way it was premature? It sounds like you are as sure as you can be that it was accurate?
MCLAUGHLIN: It was peer reviewed. It's very carefully looked at. In the business for over 30 years since our founding under U.N. Charter. We are a private company now. We have quite a lot of experience in these matters. We were not surprised at the announcement. It had been discussed with us a couple of hours beforehand.
BURNETT: And explain -- I guess I don't want you to get into deep math but the data. What was the data you were able to use to determine? There is debris. People say there is a chance this plane could be somewhere else. Motive is outside your purview. Nobody knows the motive. How are you able to base on the data that you looked at be so sure?
MCLAUGHLIN: Well, what we can offer originally on the 11th was a path in which to look to the north and south based on the amount of pings on the satellite. We knew engines were still running. That was a surprise because it was assumed the plane was lost soon after it lost contact. We discovered that it continued a path and then over Sunday and Monday our scientists looked at whether or not they could detect the direction or could detect what the plane was actually doing. What they established was from the fixed point of the Indian Ocean satellite receiving the signal the aircraft was moving away. Couldn't say at that stage so we compared data. That then runs you into range of aircraft, fuel availability. You relentlessly end up and you come at the southern ocean.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much. I appreciate you taking the time.
OUTFRONT next, no debris and no sign of the plane. You heard Inmarsat, he said as sure as he can be that this is the plane. But there are real questions and there are experts who doubt that. The latest scenarios investigators are working with because motive is the big question. Flight 370 is what we are looking at in the Indian Ocean. What was it doing there?
And eight dead and 108 missing, one official calls it the worst landslide he has ever seen. We are going to go there live coming up.
BURNETT: Breaking news in the disappearance of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Today's search over the Indian Ocean suspended. Tonight the families of the 239 people on board are facing the tragic reality of loss and overwhelming grief. They want the proof, horrible weather is preventing any further searching. It is a horrible game of waiting. Malaysia Airlines has confirmed their worst fears in a text to the families saying, quote, "We have to assume beyond all reasonable doubt that MH-370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived. However, there is still no confirmed debris, no firm evidence. So is this really the plane? Richard Quest joins me along with CNN aviation analyst, Miles O'Brien, John Nance, an aviation analyst for ABC World News, and Arthur Rosenberg, a pilot and aviation attorney. OK, great to have all of you with us.
We are going to talk much more about motive and why later on in the program. I want to focus first on whether this is the plane. Arthur, the vice president of Inmarsat was definitive. I mean, he said this is where the plane is and the plane ended in the Indian Ocean, is he right?
ARTHUR ROSENBERG, AVIATION ATTORNEY: Here is the bottom line. He has flip-flopped from this morning until this evening. The language I heard this morning was most likely. The problem that I have is that was translated into the prime minister to beyond a reasonable doubt to the people and to the families of the victims. On the one hand you have the executive from Inmarsat saying most likely and somehow that got booted up to beyond reasonable doubt. I don't agree with that. I am not convinced that they are certain where this airplane is. I think they have finetuned it to a general area, but to say beyond a reasonable doubt this plane went down where they are saying is a stretch.
BURNETT: I want to go to Richard Quest in a moment but first to Miles.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: You know, there is a saying in science. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Show me. Show me the evidence. I want to know about this data. Supposedly they took the information from the downed airliner and compared it to previous flights of Malaysian aircraft over the course of time. There was some difference between the northern and southern. Something about the northern route. I don't know.
And frankly, to make statements like they are making without revealing what is behind it is wrong. And when I think of those families, how this led to that terrible scene of those families, those heart broken families, being told what they are told, is just outrageous to me.
BURNETT: John, do you think they know where the plane is at this point? I men, because now people are saying well, there has been debris. It hasn't been confirmed that it from this plane. But there has been debris. You just heard two people saying they are not sure. Go ahead, sorry.
JOHN NANCE, AVIATION ANALYST, ABC'S WORLD NEWS: Yes. No, I'm not anywhere near as harsh on the prime minister for what was a bit of a premature announcement as the other gentleman. I think that all things considered, a matter of fact, if you remember all comes Rezza (ph), all things considered the simplest solution is probably right.
We know the airplane has not shown up place else. We know that the definitive data that they are working with or they call definitive was parsed in a way never used before. Yes, there is a little bit of uncertainty. We have debris in the water. We don't know for sure. But all things point to the airplane having been in a position from which it could not recover, in other words, no way to reach land.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Look, if you listened to what Immarsat said and you don't just pick up one or two words of the most likely of whatever, but if you listen to what they said, they did the analysis. They then overlaid the analysis on the fact that there is no radar tracks from any of the countries in the northern route. They then did a peer review with another satellite company. They then handed it over to the AAIP which is the British equivalent of the NTSB which has the highest reputation like the NTSB does.
So you can't just turn around now and sort of say well, maybe this or maybe that. They have taken this to a very high level of integrity.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, quick answer. You don't know. You are saying but you have no basis for saying that. I have an easy answer for you. In the effort of transparency and full disclosure let's see the report. Produce it. I realize this is an investigation. This is a worldwide global effort to find this airplane. Twenty six countries are involved. I think the world is entitled to see the data on which Immarsat based this analysis in which we have such hope to find the airplane.
BURNETT: Maybe for reasons of the investigation, they don't want to put it out there yet. Although, fair point. Why would you put the conclusion out without?
QUEST: The reputation of not only Immarsat and the AAIP, and maybe their reputation is not important, but experienced and expertise along with everybody involved in all of this goes with it. I'm not saying you don't have a point, that it would be nice if they gave us information. But I don't think you can discount it to that level.
BURNETT: Where else would it be, though? I mean, that is the big question at this point. There have no evidence anywhere else.
O'BRIEN: John Nance is right. How come Rezza (ph) here would tell it is pretty much where they are searching. I have questions about the range of the aircraft, if it was down at 12,000 feet, might have come short from where they are looking. That is also true.
My problem with this is Immarsat, which is a good company with the great reputation, if they are going to make a claim like that, I would like to see the report. That is a simple statement. It is like everything else in this investigation. It is OK.
We still haven't heard the ATC communications, the Air Traffic Control communications, to the crew. We haven't seen the maintenance records of the airplane. It just goes along. It is a consistent opaque investigation and is frustrating.
BURNETT: And John, what is your view on that? We haven't seen the formal air traffic communications. You know, we have seen reports of some of them, but haven't seen them all. NANCE: Well, to a certain extent Richard and I agree for the most part here, not that I don't disagree with the other two gentlemen that violently. But the basic idea is this is a bit of tempest in a tea pot because we have been standing for these two weeks on a whole stack of very shaky alleged facts and we had to analyze this to the extent that we wanted to or needed to based on those with a lot of shifting back and forth.
Right now, we are down to only a few facts and there is some uncertainty. But I am perfectly calm with saying I think this is probably the correct solution.
BURNETT: All right, we are going to hit pause here for a moment. But all of you, four, are going back because we are going to talk about the motive.
And OUTFRONT, we now know nearly 450 pounds of lithium batteries in the plane's cargo after new detail in terms of the totals amount. So did that cause the jet's disappearance or was it something else? Mechanical failure, hijacking, suicide. We are going to talk about with our panel.
Plus, some families do believe their loved ones are still alive. The reason why is next.
BURNETT: Surviving family members of missing Malaysia airlines flight 370 passengers heard the news they feared the most today, all lives are lost. For many it was too much to bear.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
BURNETT: Seventeen days after the passenger jet disappeared with 239 onboard emotions were high. There was blame. There was disbelief. And while Malaysia's prime minister says there are no hopes to finding survivors, there are still many unanswered questions.
And family members hope, Heidi Snow lost her fiance on TWA flight 800. She is the founder of ACESS, Aircraft Casualty and Emergency Support Services. And she has been speaking with some families directly. She is OUTFRONT tonight.
Thank you, Heidi, for coming on. This has to be a time where you have to relive a time in your life that is impossible to imagine. Today, obviously, devastating to all of the relatives of the people on that plane. What did you think when you heard the news?
HEIDI SNOW, FOUNDER, AIRCRAFT CASUALTY AND EMERGENCY SUPPORT SERVICES: It just reminds me of what it was like after flight 800. Right after we were always leaning for information. There were a lot of new leads. Some of them actually were very tangible and other times they really didn't add to what we needed to hear.
So right now I think that what we have been hearing is that basically this isn't enough evidence to change the grieving process. Some people are still holding on to hope and really need more than these words.
They need to see actual parts of the plane and really learn that their loved ones were actually on board by getting some remains back. This is new data. And people like to get new information. I am so glad there is some new information coming to them. But really, without anything tangible, they are still going back and forth from hope to then going every hour going back to reality and really not sure what happened.
It is such a hard time. All of the people at our organization have gone through the same type of thing. It is just that waiting time. And that is what distinguishes air disasters from other sudden losses is that we just really never know what happened. Even when remains are found, we still never will know what the last moments were like and what they went through. And that process goes on for a really long time. So it is extremely difficult for them.
BURNETT: And you know, I mean, people can -- you know, people, flying is a frightening experience for many people and people think about all the scenarios. And whether your love one was terrified or afraid or in pain or all those things that you don't know the answer to.
I mean, when you went through this, you lost your fiance. It took five weeks to find his body. How difficult will it be for these families if they never find the bodies, never mind the plane? If it is indeed what they are looking for. That is a very possible outcome that we may not find remains of these people.
SNOW: Absolutely. And it is extremely difficult. In our organization, we have gotten calls for help from people that have never had any sign of wreckage and no remains and they have survived and gotten through it somehow. And a lot of them have come forward after this incident to talk about it because it is really -- it still very difficult for them. And some of them are actually grief mentors to other people in the same situation.
So not having answers is extremely difficult. But we have people who have gone through it. We have a book "surviving a sudden loss." And we interviewed some of these families. And some of them really only have the fact that their husband went to work and got on the plane and then have nothing after that. We can all relate to that and we do know it is extremely difficult. And answers are what everybody is waiting for. And I hope that they get some confirmation and details on this.
BURNETT: Heidi, thank you very much.
SNOW: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: Still to come, the Malaysian government says they know where flight 370 ended. So we discussed whether that really is the plane. The next question is, why? Why was it there? Half way around the globe from where it was supposed to be?
And more than 100 people missing in Washington state tonight. We will go live to the scene of one of the most deadly landslides in the country.
BURNETT: Breaking news: the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been suspended. Bad weather grounding the search planes today. There have been several leads in terms of debris. They are not able to confirm those. They're hoping to resume the search tomorrow. Again, they are searching in the southern Indian Ocean due to satellite data.
Senior vice president of the satellite company Inmarsat just telling me a few moments ago that they are certain that is where the plane is. There still, though, is no physical evidence. And as families deal with the news that no one on board survived the flight, there are still more questions. Who or what is responsible for the missing flight and the 239 people on board? What was the motive if there was a motive, if it wasn't mechanical?
I want to bring back our experts, Richard Quest, CNN aviation analyst Miles O'Brien, aviation analyst for "ABC World News", John Nance, and pilot Arthur Rosenberg.
Great to have all of you with us.
John, you have been consistent on this program from the beginning saying you think the disappearance of Flight 370 was an intentional act. Do you still think that tonight?
NANCE: I do, Erin, I really do. That's because the evidence that we have got, the facts don't seem to be shaky about the heading changes, the fact that part of the ACARS system that was telecommunicating was shut down and one part was not. All of these elements point to something that was completely volitional and not accidental.
BURNETT: Arthur, I believe you agree with that.
Let me go to the scenarios, right? We've got pilot error.
ARTHUR ROSENBERG, PILOT: Right.
BURNETT: We have hijacking, we have terrorism, we have mechanical failure. You have some sort of suicide mission by somebody, whether who was in the cockpit originally or someone else in the plane. These are the possibilities.
ROSENBERG: I'm going to say this as simply as I can. I think -- I agree with John. I think the key to this case lies in the 12 minutes between the 1:07 time when ACARS reported everything OK and the 12 minutes later at 1:19 where the plane, last communication, "all right, good night".
In that 12 minutes, what do we know? The pilot never reported a problem, no fire, no decompression, no smoke, nothing. And the pilot never -- whoever the pilot was, I didn't say crew member, whoever was in there never asked for a route change. They never said we are going to make a left turn. They never asked for an altitude change. BURNETT: But that turn was pre-programmed, as has been reported.
ROSENBERG: Hold on, one second, Richard, almost there.
We don't know if that was programmed or not. All we know is that during that interval of time, the plane didn't make the turn. But we don't know if someone entered it. And until you hit the enter button and command the plane to move it, ACARS is not going to report it as pre-programmed.
ROSENBERG: I'm almost done.
BURNETT: All right. Richard is being very patient.
ROSENBERG: Two minutes later from 1:19 to 1:21, you have a transponder which goes dead at precisely the point of the handoff between --
BURNETT: In that same minute.
ROSENBERG: Right. And if you want to be invisible, that's the time you're going to do it.
BURNETT: All right. Richard, all these things, right now, there's a lot of things we don't know. We know this, we know this, we don't know what's in between. That could open the door to something different.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: I am not prepared to come off the fence in one side or the other with your one plus one plus one plus one, therefore, it must be equal.
ROSENBERG: You didn't hear the rest of the story.
QUEST: We don't have time.
ROSENBERG: I can do it quickly but I want to give you a chance.
BURNETT: Let Richard respond.
QUEST: I think in these situations -- if I thought -- here is the difference. If I thought at some point the Malaysians were never going to have to reveal that which they know in a full understanding of what happened I'd be the first person to be screaming from the roof tops. But I know from covering these things that the report will come out, the facts will out as they become clear. And that is why I think it is very dangerous to be going down this road of taking a little bit of circumstantial here, a little fact from there, cherry picking your facts as you go along and coming up with a theory.
BURNETT: Well, I mean, hold on, hold on, to be fair, it is not necessarily cherry picking. It is what we have available. And to your point it could be because they haven't confirmed things. But let me -- let me bring Miles in here, because, Miles, what do you think about this purposeful reason, right? The motive which would be a purposeful motive from somebody in the cockpit?
O'BRIEN: Certainly, everything we see would fit that. You can take the same set of facts and come up with a scenario where there is some sort of violent mechanical failure or some decompression event that causes a lot of what we have seen.
So, yes, it's quite a stretch because you've lost all of that communication capability and you've got this rapid dissent apparently, quick turn around back to land. But you can still come up with a scenario where some sort of mechanical failure would cause that. So, I think it's unwise to rule that out at this point because --
BURNETT: What scenario would do that, though? What mechanical scenario would have all of these pieces still fit in, right? Where it's not so bad to call a mayday. You turn around but don't tell anybody. It goes down and it goes back up.
What might explain that?
O'BRIEN: Well, what about those lithium batteries? What if something had in the cargo hold occurred that created some kind of rapid problem? You know, it might have been something smoldering they weren't aware of. Who knows?
There's any number of scenarios that could occur. Now, I just don't think you can rule it out.
You know, John Nance, you have flown these planes. I mean, can you say it is impossible for this to happen? You can say that, impossible?
NANCE: Well, I think only a fool would say it's impossible. We say the probability versus possibility. If there is a possibility there, it is a very low level of probability.
Let me tell you the reason why. Even if you discount these course changes, after the turn, the silence on the turn, the proximity to be able to get ahold of air traffic control, VHF, our training to immediately talk and turn and descent and all these things, even if you discount all of that, in order to turn off that satellite function of the ACARS that we didn't know was on there, whoever did this didn't know was on, you have to go into the forward panel and go through page after page after page and get down and make some changes in there. And that's not the sort of thing that is going to happen selectively with a fire or with interdiction to the airline by heat or by anything in the back luggage compartment. It's just not going to happen.
So, you know, is this an impossibility for it to be some bizarre series of happenstances that come out to be an accident, a mechanical thing, I suppose it's possible but I just don't see any rational probability.
BURNETT: There has been, Richard, so much silence too. And again, I'm not saying this is because they have been looking into it, although there was some frustration that Malaysian authorities didn't interview the pilots. Families for a while citing cultural sensitivities. They were all sorts of questions about that, right? That they didn't go in their homes and search them for a week.
But if indeed this ends up being something done by the pilots if that is what it was, the motive is still incredibly cloudy.
QUEST: The motive -- I cannot sit here and discuss a motive for an event about a person who we don't know may or may not have done it.
And all the best we can come up with is that the Malaysians haven't released the nuts and bolts of the investigation of the data of that which we don't have. And there may be very strong reasons why, not the least of which -- not least of which -- the ICAO treaty as the investigative authority that they cannot release when they want to. They have to be careful.
I'm not saying there couldn't be forthcoming with the transcript. I'm not saying they couldn't have given quicker answers. But they are undertaking a global investigation, putting together a consortium of 26 countries. They have better things to be doing than entertaining --
BURNETT: U.S. government has been forthcoming on one crucial issue, which is they have repeatedly said they don't see any evidence of terrorism. Not that they're sure, but they said they don't see any evidence of it.
ROSENBERG: Right. Look, I actually agree with Richard on this point.
I don't think at this juncture that you can determine motive. And I don't think that you have to. I think you can eliminate certain causes based on a reasonable probability scenario. Is it reasonable that one scenario or the other happened?
So, for example, very quickly -- I think electrical is out. I do not think -- this plane is so redundant, eight generators. They have enough power on this plane for some many I don't think -- I think power was out. The plane flew for eight hours. The plane would have crashed before. The only mechanical scenario is possibly decompression and even that I discount.
BURNETT: All right. Before we go, do you think we'll ever know, Miles? Will ever know what happened? And if we do find out motive is an appropriate word, will we ever know that without flight data recorder in your view?
O'BRIEN: It will be pretty hard without flight data recorder, really well. You know, that's -- finding that right now, that's -- we don't know where the haystack is.
BURNETT: That's a really good point.
John, final word to you. ROSENBERG: Well, I don't know if we'll ever find out or not. We're going to need some luck. We've got an awful lot of fine minds trying to put this together. And, you know, our job is to analyze what is there and not come up with the actual investigation. That's why I think we can free wheel.
But I hope we find it out. We may not and this could be one of the most enduring mysteries in transportation history.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Thanks to all of you.
Well, the families of those aboard Flight 370 are trying to deal with the news that no one survived. They do demand evidence and authorities are hoping to find that physical evidence when the weather improves and search resumes.
In an exclusive OUTFRONT report, Rosa Flores got access to a high tech under cover vehicle which actually could help find things like that data recorder.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This could be the key to solving the mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. An under cover piece of equipment called a remotely operating vehicle, ROV for short. It's what the Malaysian government has added to its fleet of resources, in hopes of recovering some of the most critical pieces of evidence from the deep sea.
STEVEN WALLACE, FORMER DIRECTOR, FAA OFFICE OF ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION: Well, the two key pieces of evidence that outweighed all other evidence are the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder.
FLORES: Helix Canyon Offshore gave CNN an exclusive look at the ROV Triton XLS.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you getting a signal on the ROV as well?
FLORES: The multimillion dollar machine is tethered to a vessel, dropped into the water by a cable --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have an altitude of 28 meters.
FLORES: And slowly remotely lowered to the sea floor by pilots in a control room located inside a ship. The ROV is equipped with cameras.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two cameras here. One in pilot monitor and co- pilot monitor.
FLORES: Meaning an ROV like this one could lay the first eyes on the wreckage site of MH370.
WALLACE: The wreckage can tell you how it impacted or came apart. It can certainly tell you if certain parts were burned. It can tell you a very complete story.
FLORES: Metal arms and jaws are controlled by a joy stick.
MARTIN STITT, ROV SUPERINTENDENT: Close the jaws. Not a problem at all to pick it up and recover it back to the vessel.
FLORES: But before the data recorders are recovered, the wreckage must be located, a task as daunting as the Indian Ocean is deep.
FLORES: Now, working in the Indian Ocean is going to be very, very difficult. The good thing about ROVs is they can work under water for days on end. And we were talking about those data recorders. If they are under debris, an ROV can be rigged with lifting and cutting equipment. The key, of course, Erin, is to narrow down the debris field and find the wreckage -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Rosa, thank you.
And still to come, some of the other big stories this hour. Breaking news out of Washington state, because we are hearing word the death toll of a mass landslide is rising dramatically. More than 100 people are still missing. We're going to go live to the scene, next.
And some new intelligence that Russian troops on the Ukrainian border could invade at any time. This is way bigger than Crimea. So, what's the United States doing about it?
BURNETT: And now, let's check in with Anderson with a look at what's coming up on "AC360" -- Anderson.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, yes, we'll have much more obviously on the breaking news in Malaysia Flight 370.
Ahead on the program, the search as you know has been suspended. This video gives you an idea of just how rough the seas can be in that area of the ocean. This is not from the search itself. It does give a sense of just how high the waves can be and what search crews are up against. We're going to have a live report from Perth, Australia.
Also ahead tonight, the search continuing for the other part of the mystery -- how and why 777 wound up in the water. One working theory, an onboard fire sparked by batteries in the cargo bay. Flight 370 was carrying nearly a quarter ton of batteries. Randi Kaye has that angle.
Plus, your panel of experts joins us for the hour, and we'll go inside the 777 simulator for an explanation of sudden altitude drop earlier in the flight. That's all at the top of the hour, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much, Anderson. We'll see you in just a few minutes.
And now, the breaking news on the landslide. Police in Washington state are now reporting 14 are dead, more than 100 still missing after Saturday's landslide. Those numbers have just risen from eight to 14 in the past few moments. Police are suspending the search for survivors of the landslide due to fears of another collapse.
As you can see from the stunning photos, Saturday's landslide was truly massive. I mean, this is just incredible when you see exactly the amount of space we are looking at here. Devastating two towns north of Seattle.
George Howell is OUTFRONT from Arlington, Washington.
And, George, is there new information on the missing, because obviously that number just changing and sadly increasing significantly.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, you know, at this point from what we understand, the number of unaccounted for and missing remains the same, 108 reports that they are looking into.
Very important, though, to explain what that means by reports. They are looking into Web sites that families might have set up looking for loved ones, looking into social media reports, reports that people put out on Twitter looking for loved ones, or vague reports. For instance, a neighbor saying, I haven't seen Jim here at this home. He used to live here. That's a report.
They're looking into all of those, 108, and they hope to increase that number in the coming days.
And as you mentioned, you know, officials came out this morning and they said that they were hopeful, but they said that the outlook was grim. And now, we do know, CNN has confirmed with the Snohomish County sheriff's office that 14 people are now dead, officials say that they removed the bodies of six more people from the mudslide today. The death toll has risen, and as you mentioned, Erin, the search has temporarily suspended on the ground, simply because the ground is just too unstable. They hope to get in there soon and continue that ground search. They continue to search by air.
And the bad news here is, we do expect looking at the forecast, rain in the next several days, that would certainly make the mess here even muddier.
BURNETT: So, George, do you think they're going to be able to search? We just look at those pictures. I mean, it's incredible the size you're looking at, the power of what that must have been. But, you know, there's hope that there are people alive, people missing. Are they really going to have to give up?
HOWELL: You know, you get news like this, and you see the mood around here changes. You hear the officials coming out saying that the outlook is grim. That plays a factor.
But it is important to note that they were very direct in saying this is still an active search. It is not a recovery operation at this point, it's still an active search. They're looking for survivors. That's the hope as this search does continue, by air, we know. We know yesterday, overnight, they searched. They had the technology to search. We presume they may do that again. We'll check into that, but the search here does continue.
BURNETT: All right. George Howell, thank you very much.
And now breaking news, the White House says, the U.S., along with other world leaders, is kicking Russia out of the G8. This comes after senior U.S. defense official tells CNN, on the Ukraine/Russia border, Russia, quote, "has enough troops that we believe they could move against Ukraine at any time now".
That is a huge headline. This is not Crimea now. This is Ukraine, which was the second biggest part of the former USSR after Russia itself. U.S. intelligence also indicates the Russian forces are positioned to possibly invade three Ukrainian cities without any warning.
President Obama is in a five-day overseas trip right now with some crucial stops along the way.
Jim Acosta is traveling with him, outside The Hague tonight.
Jim, how is this playing out?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, President Obama raised the stakes in his confrontation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He forged an agreement with other G-7 leaders that will effectively kick Russia out of the G-8 after an emergency meeting of the G-7 that lasted nearly two hours. Those leaders came out and said that not only is Russia basically out of the G-8, the G-7 will no longer hold that G-8 Summit that was scheduled to be held in Sochi, Russia, later on in June. Instead the G-7 Summit will be held in Brussels.
As for those 20,000 Russian troops gathers on the Ukrainian border, a senior administration official said that the G-7 nations also agreed to further sanctions against Russia, should Moscow decide to invade eastern or southern Ukraine, the sanctions would be against the energy and banking sectors of Russia, very critical to that nation's economy.
Earlier in the day, though, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, he had a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry, he basically was told of what was expected at this G-7 meeting. He brushed it off and said, well, maybe this will be an experiment for Russia over in the next couple of year, just to see how things go in Russia with respect to its economy, not being in the G-8 any more. They're gone for now, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to you, Jim Acosta.
And OUTFRONT, more on the coverage of the search for Flight 370.
BURNETT: For more than two weeks, families of the passengers on board Flight 370 have been waiting for news. Tonight, they finally got word and for many it was unbearable. Some of them even calling Malaysian officials murderers.
Jeanne Moos has the story.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a day when the laughter of daytime TV was interrupted.
ANNOUNCER: This is an ABC News special report.
MOOS: A day of breaking news and broken hearts.
Relatives of passengers lashing out at the press, furious at the Malaysian government and airline.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Telling us that no one survived, everyone sank into the ocean, what's your proof?
MOOS: But even the satellite company whose technology was cited as proof wouldn't go beyond phrases like "most likely."
CHRIS MCLAUGHLIN, INMARSAT: I can't give it to you definitively. It most likely went into the Indian Ocean.
MOOS (on camera): For days, reporters and anchors hinted at it. But now, they finally said the words.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a lost aircraft and every soul on board was lost.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That hope is being extinguished.
COOPER: All those onboard are gone.
MOOS (voice-over): Relatives' grief was carried live.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now they are all screaming leaving the room. I'm not sure if you can hear them. You can hear the devastation. Hold on.
MOOS: There were sympathy tweets from strangers, deep condolences to the victims, can't imagine how scared they were.
The plight of Flight 370 inspired a one minute opera tribute from composer Michel van der Aa for a Dutch TV show.
Why are you turning westward? Are you there, asked the soprano, portraying an air traffic controller.
A baritone in a flight simulator gives the now famous signoff.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Goodnight.
MOOS: The experts seem confident that the question of where the plane ended up has now been answered. The why and the how are questions that remain. The search continues for the plane's heartbeat, the flight recorder.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It makes a little ticking sound like a metronome, and that's the sound you're hearing. And that's exactly what they'll be listening for.
MOOS: Seventeen days after Flight 370 vanished, this is the sound we heard.
Grief that exploded, and grief suffered in silence soothed with pats on the back.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: And as we have reported, the search suspended tonight in the hopes that tomorrow, we'll start to get some answers on whether the plane is there, and then the big question, why?
Thanks so much for watching.
Anderson Cooper continues our coverage right now.