MH370 search called off

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KUALA LUMPUR. — The massive underwater search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was called off yesterday, leaving unsolved one of the most enduring mysteries of the aviation age.

Nearly three years after the airliner vanished, distraught relatives refused to accept the idea that the 239 passengers and crew might now never be found after the failure of one of the most expensive undersea operations ever.

“Despite every effort using the best science available, cutting edge technology, as well as modelling and advice from highly skilled professionals who are the best in their field, unfortunately, the search has not been able to locate the aircraft,” said a statement from Australia, China and Malaysia.

“Accordingly, the underwater search for MH370 has been suspended.”

The Malaysia Airlines jet disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014.

An initial search focused on an area east of peninsular Malaysia, but attention soon shifted to the west when it emerged the plane had changed course and headed into the Indian Ocean — just as its communications equipment had been switched off.

The information spawned speculation that the plane had been hijacked or rerouted, but little supporting evidence could be produced and conspiracy theories abounded.

Investigators later focused their search on a 120 000 square kilometre area to the west of Australia.

The area was determined based on scant clues available from satellite “pings” and calculations of how much fuel was on board, which suggested the plane had ditched in the southern Indian Ocean. — AFP

Article Source: The Herald