Search For Missing Malaysian MH370 To Be Suspended | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Search For Missing Malaysian MH370 To Be Suspended

Posted: Jul 22, 2016 at 10:34 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Boeing 777, with 239 aboard, disappeared in March 2014 while on a flight from the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, to Beijing.

Almost A$180 million ($135 million) has been spent since then on an underwater search spanning 120,000 square kilometres (46,332 square miles) in the southern Indian Ocean.

“In the absence of new credible evidence, Malaysia, Australia and China have collectively agreed to suspend the search upon completion of the 120,000 sq-km search,” Malaysian transport minister Liow Tiong Lai told a news conference at which he read out the statement from him and his Chinese and Australian counterparts.

The families of those on board, most of whom were from China, have pressed hard for answers ever since the plane went missing, and they are likely to decry any suggestion the search will end.

Liow said the team was not “giving up on the search for MH370” even if the less than 10,000 square kilometres that remains to be searched did not come up with anything.

“Should credible new information emerge which can be used to identify the specific location of the aircraft, consideration will be given in determining next steps,” the ministers said in the statement.

Investigators believe the plane was deliberately flown thousands of miles off course before crashing into the southern Indian Ocean off Australia.

Malaysian investigators said in 2015 there was nothing suspicious in the financial, medical or personal histories of pilots or crew.

Several pieces of aircraft wreckage have washed up on beaches in Africa and been positively identified as coming from MH370 but they shed little light on the mystery.

“While acknowledging the significance of the debris, ministers noted that to date, none of it had provided information that positively identified the precise location of the aircraft,” the ministers said.

The search has lasted more than two years but has found no sign of the main wreckage.