Malaysia supports a proposed new search for flight MH370 after it vanished 239 people on board ten years ago

Monday, March 04, 2024
 – The Malaysian government has thrown its support around a proposed new search for the missing MH370 flight that disappeared ten years ago this week.

The Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared mid-flight with 239 people aboard on March 8, 2014.

Extensive multinational searches have been through the South Indian Ocean, where the aircraft is believed to have crashed, but no discovery was made.

US-based marine robotics company Ocean Infinity has now announced its proposal for a 15,000-square-kilometre search of the Southern Indian Ocean, off the coast of Australia.

Malaysia Transport Minister Anthony Loke said he was considering the proposal which was on a 'no find, no fee' basis.

'As far as the Malaysian government is concerned, we are committed to justice and the search must go on,' he said at a ten-year remembrance ceremony in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, where loved ones of the victims gathered.

'The government is steadfast in our resolve to locate MH370. We really hope the search can find the plane and provide truth to the next-of-kin.'

Mr Loke said he had invited Ocean Infinity to further discuss the plan and any costs should the search mission be successful.

New scientific evidence about where the aircraft may have ended up will be evaluated as part of discussions.

He is hoping the Malaysian cabinet can approve the proposal in the coming weeks.

Mr. Loke added the Australian government would be asked for their cooperation once Ocean Infinity had finalised their proposal.

The last official search for the aircraft was in 2018 by Ocean Infinity - which shed no light on what may have happened to the plane or its passengers.

Details about the company's latest search proposal are yet to be revealed.

Last time, Malaysia offered the firm a reward of $70 million if it found the missing plane within 90 days.

Ocean Infinity CEO Oliver Punkett told the New Straits Times that the company had improved its technology since 2018.

'We now feel in a position to be able to return to the search for MH370,' he told the English-language daily. 'We've been working with many experts, some outside of Ocean Infinity, to continue analyzing the data in the hopes of narrowing the search area down to one in which success becomes potentially achievable.'

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) conducted an underwater search for the plane in the southern Indian Ocean from May 2014 until the operation was suspended in January 2017.

The wreckage of MH370 has still not been found almost a decade later despite its disappearance triggering the largest ever air-sea multinational search.

The flight from Kuala Lumpur was bound for Beijing and was carrying passengers from 14 different countries.

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