Kuala Lumpur, March 8: Relatives of the 239 passengers, who disappeared with Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in 2014, on Friday called for a fresh search to find the aircraft on the fifth anniversary of its disappearance.
The Beijing-bound plane disappeared off the radar on March 8, 2014, about 40 minutes after take-off from Kuala Lumpur when someone had turned off the communication systems and changed the aircraft’s route, according to an official report.
The investigation concluded that the plane crashed in a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean, where 232,000 kilometres of the sea bed have since been combed unsuccessfully in search operations.
Grace Nathan, whose mother was aboard the plane, rued the lack of progress in resolving “one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history” and called for a new search for the plane, Efe news reported.
“Another search is not a waste of time or money. It’s a matter of preventing this from happening again,” she said.
“Every day people fly and there is a possibility that another plane could vanish. It’s an experience that we know and that we don’t want to happen again to other people,” added the Malaysian woman, who is a member of Voice MH370, an association representing the families of the victims.
In May 2018, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said his government may resume the search if new evidence came to light.
So far, fragments or suspected fragments of the aircraft have been recovered from beaches in Reunion, Mozambique, Mauritius, South Africa and Pemba Island (Zanzibar).
Experts said that three wing parts found in Reunion, Mauritius and Pemba belonged to MH370 and another seven pieces – including parts of interior of the cockpit – were “almost certainly” from the missing plane, while another eight were “highly likely” to be from it.
The fragments were believed to have been swept across the Indian Ocean by currents.
Some of these pieces were displayed to the public for the first time on Sunday at an event in Kuala Lumpur in memory of the victims.
Malaysia, Australia and China, who carried out the first search at a cost of over $151 million, agreed to suspend it in January 2017 until the appearance of new solid evidence.
The US-based seabed exploration company Ocean Infinity, which conducted a second search, has offered to carry out another under the same no-find no-fee conditions.