KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 20 – As senior aviation officials from Malaysia, China and Australia were deliberating the future direction of search operations for MH370 that disappeared more than two years ago, relatives of the missing victims pleaded with them to continue looking.
“For the families, whose lives have remained in limbo for over 800 days, giving up on the search is not an option,” relatives’ network 370 said. They called on “wealthy nations and corporations” to help fund the search and urged a recalculation of the satellite and radar data that concluded the flight “ended” in the southern Indian Ocean.
The Australian-led team has scoured nearly the entire 120,000 sq km of the targeted search zone in the ocean. The operation, estimated to cost US$130 million (RM510 million), is scheduled to end in the coming weeks. Aircraft fragments have been discovered on the coasts of South Africa, Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion island, with some already confirmed as coming from the missing plane.
Experts said the remnants followed the drifting pattern that they had mapped out. Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester said in February that “in the absence of any further credible evidence”, the search will be ended. The plane vanished on March 8, 2014 while en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.
On board were 227 passengers and 12 Malaysian crew members. More than two-thirds of the passengers were from China. Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said officials from the three countries would examine all the evidence in the case and listen to expert analysis over the next two days before making a decision. — dpa