Malaysia says MH370 search must go on, 10 years after plane vanished

Published March 3, 2024
Families of passengers from both China and Malaysia, who were aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, are seen during a remembrance event commemorating the 10th anniversary of its disappearance, in Subang Jaya, Malaysia on March 3, 2024. — Reuters
Families of passengers from both China and Malaysia, who were aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, are seen during a remembrance event commemorating the 10th anniversary of its disappearance, in Subang Jaya, Malaysia on March 3, 2024. — Reuters

Malaysia is pushing for a renewed search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, the transport minister said on Sunday, as the 10th anniversary of its disappearance in one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries approaches.

Flight MH370, a Boeing 777 carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014.

Malaysian investigators initially did not rule out the possibility that the aircraft had been deliberately taken off course, and debris, some confirmed and some believed to be from the aircraft, has washed up along the coast of Africa and on islands in the Indian Ocean.

Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke said US seabed exploration firm Ocean Infinity had been invited to discuss its latest search proposal after two previous failed attempts.

“The Malaysian government is committed to the search (for MH370) and the search must go on,” Loke said at a remembrance event on Sunday.

Malaysia engaged Ocean Infinity in 2018 to search the southern Indian Ocean, offering to pay up to $70 million if it found the plane.

Malaysia, China, and Australia earlier had ended a fruitless two-year, A$200 million ($130.46 million) underwater hunt in January 2017.

Loke said Malaysia would talk to Australia about cooperation in resuming the search once Ocean Infinity’s proposal is approved by Malaysia’s cabinet.

VPR Nathan, whose wife Anne Daisy was onboard the flight, said Ocean Infinity’s proposal, which includes a “no find, no fee” option, was welcome.

“We want the search to carry on but we also have to be realistic. We cannot expect the government to spend billions (on the search),” Nathan said.

Jiang Hui, a Chinese national whose mother was a passenger on MH370, called on Malaysia to provide relatives with the latest information it received.

“As long as there is communication, we can avoid misunderstanding,” said Jiang, who is among family members who filed a lawsuit in China demanding compensation over the plane’s disappearance.

A Beijing court began compensation hearings in November.

More than 150 Chinese passengers were on the flight, with relatives demanding compensation from Malaysia Airlines, Boeing, aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce and the Allianz insurance group among others.

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