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Missing Jet's Final Communications Played to Passengers' Families

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BEIJING - The final known communications between Flight MH370's pilots and ground control were played to passengers' families on Tuesday.

"For the first time, they released a recording of conversations between the airplane cockpit and ground control," said Steve Wang, a spokesperson for the families. "It was not very clear and it was too loud. Its about 38 minutes."

During a two-hour briefing in the Chinese capital Beijing, Malaysian officials also showed families maps of the jet's route over the Straits of Malacca when it veered off course.

"It is relatively better than in the past because we got to sit down to discuss our questions," Wang said. "They answered some but not all the questions, but overall the families are feeling a little better."

A lack of information has made the families nervous and imagine all sorts of terrible scenarios, so the briefing helped assuage some of their concerns, he added.

The final words from the flight deck to air traffic controllers were the routine sign-off: “Good night, Malaysian three seven zero.”

Those words are believed to have been spoken by 27-year-old First Officer Fariq bin Ab Hamid, although this has yet to be confirmed by investigators.

An official transcript of the radio conversations was previously released by Malaysian investigators.

The relatives have repeatedly complained that authorities have kept them in the dark about the investigation, and staged sit in protests and threatened hunger strikes.

Henry Austin reported from London.

-Eric Baculinao and Henry Austin

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