Families React to News: "Flight 370 Ended in the Indian Ocean"

As loved ones try to deal with heartbreak, the difficult task of finding the plane and black box continues.
3:00 | 03/24/14

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Transcript for Families React to News: "Flight 370 Ended in the Indian Ocean"
After 17 days of mystery, we learned, today, that all that stands between a fragile hope and a brutal reality is one sentence. The government of Malaysia, today, told the families of 239 people, their loved ones will not be coming home. That new evidence concludes the plane plunged into ocean. So, today, what did officials learn that makes them so certain? And what about the debris floating in the water? Is that from flight 370. We begin with David Wright on the shattering news for the families. It is with deep sadness -- Reporter: The Malaysian prime minister delivered the news we've all been dreading. Flight 370 ended in the southern Indian ocean. Reporter: Today, in beijing and cakuala Lumpur, heartbreak. As the Malaysian government announced that the final flight path was narrowed down through data from the satellite firm iminmarsat, praking pings from the plane. They do not match the northern route. And therefore, the northern route the ruled out. Reporter: The exact spot it went down, still unknown. Earlier today, new clues. An Australian p-3 spotted debris. A gray or green circular object and an Orange rectangular object. We don't know if they're from the plane. Searchers marked the area with smoke flares. For a week, search and rescue teams have been guided by grainy satellite images, combing this remote stretch of sea, bigger than California. We've been with them. Flying low over choppy seas and heavy fog. Once they find the debris field, the heavy wreckage is liable to be miles away and miles down. Finding it will require submersie drones, like these. The computer models that we have done shows that the debris has moved almost 500 kilometers away from where it originated. Reporter: Because it's been so long? It's been so long. And the currents are quite strong. Reporter: Tonight, an Australian warship is headed in to collect and confirm the possible debris. If you thought the first part of this search was long and difficult, get ready because the second part, they'll be flying blind on the ocean floor, deeper than where the "Titanic" sank. Diane? All right, David, thank you. And ABC's bob woodruff has been on the ground since the beginning for us in Kuala Lumpur. And he's there with the families, as they struggle with word, tonight, that they should give up hope. Reporter: For the families of the 239 passengers and crew, the news was devastating. At this hotel in beijing, where many families have been living, raw grief. Others brought out by stretcher. And there was also anger. Malaysian airlines is lying, this man shouts. The families I have met kept to themselves today. Patrick Gomez, the chief steward on that plane. And three days ago, his wife, Jackie, his three children, told me they have been burning this candle since the plane disappeared, so he could find his way home, at least in spirit. The ocean, you know, he comes back -- that's what we want. Reporter: I talked to Jackie about an hour after that announcement. She was, as you can imagine, absolutely in tears. But she was surrounded by her family, her priest, and also a representative from the airline. And in that bowl, that candle was still lit. Diane? Thank you so much, bob. We want to turn to retired colonel Stephen ganyard. And David Kerley on the story from the beginning. I'll start with you, David. How certain are investigators that the families should give up hope? They are convinced that the aircraft is in the southern Indian ocean. The satellite companies put the data points together. The fuel, the glide pattern from Boeing. Are we right? Is this where the plane is? Yes, this is where this aircraft is. But the fact they did it today, just says to me, they know even more. There's something they're not telling us. Obviously, the national security assets. Not only the u.s.'s, but others have been used in this. And I'm sure they're not telling us everything about how they know where the aircraft is. I want to turn to you, Steve. What about the debris field? We're seeing more and myrrh sightings of debris. What does it say to you? Diane, we have to remember that looking at debris fields in the association is very difficult. When an airplane hits on land, it tends to create a pattern that investigators can look at. Although they're looking at small pieces, they also have the whole of the puzzle, as well. When it hits water, the wind and the currents and the tides disperse all that debris. It's very difficult. We're looking at individual clues. And it makes it very difficult to deduce anything useful as to why this airplane came down. Which leads back why we need to get to the black boxes. I was going to go back to David on that. You have one right here, right now. And show us where the ping is. This is the pinger that has the battery and sends out the signal. It's kind of a metronome sound. Let's listen to it. And this is what the submersible crafts will be listening for. But there's a chance this won't be working. The only way we find the black box is to send sonar down on the ocean floor and send a sub down to pick it up. That's what happened in air France. The only hope, that sound at the bottom of the ocean right now. Getting to this box.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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