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Last Updated : May 30, 2018 03:45 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Families of MH370 victims disheartened as final search for missing flight ends

Private contractor Ocean Infinity said it will not be continuing with its search operation for the missing aircraft. The Malaysian government has no plans of continuing the search either.

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The hunt for the missing Malaysian Airlines MH370 flight has ended after four years, with the privately-funded search being called off.

Ocean Infinity, which began a search for the flight's wreckage in January this year, said it is discontinuing the search.

The Malaysian government said it has no plans to continue the hunt for the missing aircraft.

The flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing went missing on March 8, 2014. It had 239 people on board, 12 of which were crew members.

The Boeing-77 aircraft most likely crashed in the Indian Ocean. Initial search operations had focused on the South China Sea.

Australia, China and Malaysia have all conducted searches for the missing aircraft at various points in time.

Ocean Infinity would have made USD 70 million if it had been successful in locating the wreckage.

Family members of those who had gone missing with the aircraft have asked the Malaysian government to continue the search, according to a report by The Guardian.

"People might think: 'Why are these people still harping on about this, it’s been four years.' It's important for people to remember that MH370 is not history," Grace Nathan, whose mother was on the flight, told The Guardian.

Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke has said that a full report of the investigation will be published later. He, however, did not specify a date. 

When did the flight disappear?

The Boeing-777 plane disappeared on March 8, 2014. It lost contact with air traffic control about 40 minutes after it took off.

Evidence suggests that the aircraft was deliberately diverted south towards the Indian Ocean. Its original route would have taken it north-eastward.

Who was on the flight?

The passengers on board the MH370 included 152 Chinese nationals, 38 Malaysian nationals, and passengers from India, Australia, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan, Ukraine and the US.

There were 12 crew members on board as well. Malaysian authorities have confirmed that the last words spoken by either the pilot or the co-pilot were "Good night Malaysian three seven zero".

The search

Extensive searches conducted in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean have not been conclusive.

Australia, China and Malaysia have all conducted searches for the missing plane. The Australia-led search had used underwater drones and sonar equipment.

A part of the aircraft's wing was found on Reunion, an island to the east of Madagascar, in 2015. French authorities confirmed that it was from the missing aircraft.

Official efforts by the three countries were discontinued last year.

Ocean Infinity began its own search for the MH370 on January 21 this year, using a deep-sea vessel to conduct the underwater search. It had extended the search beyond the 25,000 square km previously investigated, and beyond the original deadline of 90 days.
First Published on May 30, 2018 10:31 am
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