Reviving Hope: Malaysia Explores Possibility of Renewed MH370 Search After a Decade

Reviving Hope: Malaysia Explores Possibility of Renewed MH370 Search After a Decade

Last Sunday (March 3), the Malaysian Transport Minister announced that Malaysia may resume the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. This statement was made during an event to commemorate the disappearance of the Boeing 777 on March 8, 2014, approaching the 10th anniversary of the incident.

MH370 vanished during an overnight flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, the capital of China, with 227 passengers and 12 crew members, marking it as one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history.

Malaysian Minister of Transport Anthony Loke said that Ocean Infinity, a US-based seabed exploration company, had submitted the latest proposal in the search for MH370 after two previous attempts failed. This proposal is based on the principle of "no find, no fee," and the search area has been expanded from the original search location in 2018.

Loke said he will review the latest scientific evidence to locate the aircraft's final resting place, and has invited the company to an evaluation meeting. If the evidence proves credible, he expressed his intention to seek Cabinet approval to sign a new contract with Ocean Infinity to resume the search.

Ocean Infinity had previously made the last attempt to find the missing plane in 2018, with Malaysia offering the company up to $70 million if successful.

The incident occurred after MH370's transponder was switched off. The plane then appeared to turn around and head back north to Malaysia before continuing its journey south into the Indian Ocean. The last communication from the plane was when pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah said goodbye to Malaysian air traffic control and entered Vietnamese airspace without reporting any problems.

The seas were scoured for wreckage by a multinational search team involving Malaysia, Australia, the United States and China. Two weeks after the plane went missing, then-Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that the plane had "completed its journey" in a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean.

In 2017, an underwater search involving Malaysia, China, and Australia ended after two years at a cost of $130.7 million. The 2018 report into the disappearance of MH370 revealed failures by air traffic controllers, stating that the plane's path had been manually altered.

Several pieces of debris from the plane have been found washed ashore along the coast of Africa and on islands in the Indian Ocean. One of them is a 2-meter-long wing section known as a flaperon.

Regarding cost, Loke declined to detail Ocean Infinity's proposed fee for finding the plane, as it is under negotiation. He stated that the financial aspects are not an obstacle, and he is optimistic that there will be no obstacles to continuing the search if all goes well.

Loke's response brought joy and tears of emotion to several family members in attendance at the event, held at a shopping mall on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

Source: AP | Al Jazeera

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