Search for missing Flight MH370 ends without a trace, relatives vow not to give up
Families of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 expressed disappointment after the deep-sea search for the aircraft ended on Tueday (January 17) without any trace being found.
The suspension of the search for the plane that vanished in 2014 with 239 people on board was announced earlier on Tuesday by Malaysian, Australian and Chinese authorities in a joint statement.
The location of Flight MH370 has become one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries since the plane, a Boeing 777, disappeared en route to Beijing from the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.
The last search vessel left the area on Tuesday, the three countries said, after scouring the 120,000-sq-km (46,000-sq-mile) area of the Indian Ocean sea floor that has been the focus of the almost-three-year search.
Jiang Hui, a Chinese man whose mother was onboard the plane, said he and other relatives of passengers would continue to push for answers.
“I feel very disappointed, helpless and furious at this report… this is a situation purely caused by a shortage of funds,” he said. “(I) really don’t know how long this road is, and how many difficulties lie ahead, but every one of us is making efforts for our relatives…. The (MH)370 incident is the most important thing in my life.”
Most of the passengers were from China.
Malaysia, Australia and China agreed in July to suspend the $145 million search if the plane was not found, or if new evidence that might offer a clue as to its whereabouts was not uncovered, once that area had been checked.
Australia last month dismissed an investigators’ recommendation to shift the search further north, saying that no new evidence had emerged to support that.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily briefing in Beijing on Tuesday that China had always placed great importance on the hunt for the airliner and had actively participated in it alongside Australia and Malaysia.
“We will also continue to keep close communication and cooperation with the Malaysian and Australian sides, and work with them to do relevant work,” she added.
Since the crash, there have been competing theories over whether one, both or no pilots were in control, whether it was hijacked – or whether all aboard perished and the plane was not controlled at all when it hit the water.
Adding to the mystery, investigators believe someone may have deliberately switched off the plane’s transponder before diverting it thousands of miles out over the Indian Ocean.
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