New Delhi, Jul 30: An independent investigation has released a report on missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370  which highlighted shortcomings in the government response that exacerbated the mystery. The report reiterated Malaysia’s assertion the plane was deliberately diverted and flown for over seven hours after severing communications. It said the cause of the disappearance still cannot be determined and the “possibility of intervention by a third party cannot be excluded.”

Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers on board, went missing on March 8, 2014. The plane is presumed to have crashed in the far southern Indian Ocean. Family members of those onboard the plane said they were frustrated as there were many gaps in the investigations and questions left unanswered.  (Also Read: Malaysia says no mystery over ‘missing’ MH370 search ship)

Scattered pieces of debris that washed ashore on African beaches and Indian Ocean islands indicated a distant remote stretch of the ocean where the plane likely crashed. But a government search by Australia, Malaysia and China failed to pinpoint a location. And a second, private search by U.S. Company Ocean Infinity that finished earlier this year also found no sign of the wreckage.

Officials said that report is still not a final report since the plane hasn’t been found. Malaysia’s government has said it is open to resuming searching if credible evidence of the plane’s location emerges.

In March this year, an Australian mechanical engineer had claimed that they have located the wreckage of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. Australian mechanical engineer Peter McMahon had said that he has located MH370 wreckage close to Round Island just north of Mauritius. The 64-year-old had said that he had searched through NASA, Google Maps since MH370’s mysterious disappearance.  (Also Read: Top 10 Mysterious Airplane Disappearances in The World)

Adding to his sensational claim of tracking down MH370 in an area which was not included in the search area marked by international teams, McMahon had said that the wreckage appears to be having several bullet holes.

The MH370 is believed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean, but an extensive deep-sea hunt off Australia’s west coast is drawing to a close with nothing found yet.

However, several pieces of debris that apparently drifted thousands of kilometres toward the African coast have been identified as definitely or probably from the Boeing 777.

Those finds have confirmed the plane went down but have so far shed no light on why and have fuelled questions over whether the official search is focused in the right area.

(With agency inputs)