Families want new search for MH370, six years after disappearance

Repeated searches for the plane in the southern Indian Ocean were called off in 2018 after failing to find the aircraft.

MH370 six years
Relatives of missing MH370 passengers attend a remembrance ceremony to mark the sixth anniversary of the plane''s disappearance [Ahmad Yusni/EPA]

The families of the 239 people who were on board MH370 when it went missing six years ago, are calling on authorities to revive efforts to find the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

Holding star-shaped signs reading “Never give up”, “Waiting” and “Resume the search”, the relatives of those who were on board marked the sixth anniversary of their disappearance by making a fresh appeal for answers.

“The pain is still the same, the fact that the plane is still missing is still the same, and the fact that we don’t know what happened to the plane is still the same, ” said Grace Nathan, a lawyer whose mother was on the flight, during the event in Malaysia’s administrative capital, Putrajaya.

“There are more questions than there are answers and that shouldn’t be the case after six years,” she told reporters after the event.

MH370 disappeared less than an hour into a night flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014. Repeated searches for the aircraft, focusing on the far south of the Indian Ocean, were called off in 2018 and the missing plane has become one of the world’s biggest aviation mysteries.

A piece of debris, believed to be from the missing aircraft, was on display at the gathering as it was a year ago.

Malaysia, China and Australia ended a two-year, A$200 million ($132.90 million) underwater search in the southern Indian Ocean in January 2017 after finding no trace of the plane.

In 2018, Malaysia contracted Ocean Infinity, a US-based company, to resume the search on the basis that it would only be paid if the plane were found. The 138-day search was also fruitless.

“We depend a lot on the government to take some initiative. We want the government to come forward and say that they are open to companies coming to search,” Nathan said, calling for the government to engage Ocean Infinity again.

Last month, the Transport Ministry said it had not received any new credible evidence to initiate a new search to find the plane.

Source: Reuters