03/07/2024, 14.09
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Ten years after flight MH370 went missing, Malaysia might reopen the case

Ocean Infinity, a US-based marine robotics company, made a proposal to the Malaysian government to search for the plane’s wreckage in the southern Indian Ocean. The Beijing-bound flight disappeared from radar screens in 2014 and the incident remains an unsolved mystery to this day. Victims’ families are still hoping to know the truth.

Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Ten years after flight MH370 went missing, investigations could be reopened.

Ocean Infinity, a marine robotics company that searched for the aircraft’s wreckage in 2018, is making the Malaysian government a "no find, no fee" proposal to renew the search in the southern Indian Ocean.

If the company presents any credible lead, the Malaysian government will consider reopening the file, Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke reportedly said.

On 8 March 2014, the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 disappeared from the radar after departing Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing.

Although the subsequent search was one of the largest and most expensive in history, the MH370 case remains unsolved to this day.

Along with the aircraft, all 239 people on board disappeared, most of them Chinese nationals; for the missing’s families, it is still hard to accept what happened.

“I worry that by not knowing what happened to the flight, we are collectively vulnerable to a recurrence,” said KS Narendran, from India, whose wife, Chandrika, was on board the plane.

“Every succeeding anniversary has been less about my personal loss and more about not yet having answers to what really happened to the flight,” he explained. 

This torment is shared by others as well.

“Captain Zaharie’s family is still strongly hoping for answers,” said Dr Ghouse Mohd Noor, friend of the flight’s captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah. “There is still no closure on it. There must be an explanation of what happened.

“His wife and children [remain] objective, but the big question mark remains closure. Everybody needs closure. I pray day and night that this plane will be found. We will support every effort and new efforts that are being put forward.”

In the days following the plane's disappearance, so few leads were available that the search stretched from Kazakhstan to Antarctica.

As more details emerged, the search area was narrowed, and some theories emerged about a possible accident, like an electrical failure, a fire, or the sudden depressurisation of the cockpit.

Over time, a series of conspiracy theories have developed as well linked first to the pilot, accused of hijacking the plane, then to a sensitive cargo that was spirited away to a secret location, and even the idea that foreign government agencies sabotaged the plane.

The Malaysian government, led by then-Prime Minister Najib Razak, now in jail on corruption charges related to another case, took too long and effectively hampered the search.

Since 2014, three official investigations have been carried out by Malaysia and other countries, but no one has been able to establish the cause of the disappearance.

The biggest mystery concerns the reasons that led the plane to turn towards the Indian Ocean; it is impossible to know if it was an accident or a deliberate action.

VPR Nathan, a member of the Voice MH370 group, formed by the victims' relatives, said that Ocean Infinity had planned a new search last year, but it was delayed by the delivery of a fleet.

The company's CEO, Oliver Punkett, said that improvements have been made in the technology since 2018.

“We’ve been working with many experts, some outside of Ocean Infinity, to continue analysing the data,” Punkett explained.

Transport Minister Loke declined to disclose the company's proposed fees, saying it was subject to negotiation and that the cost would not be an obstacle to any new search.

“No matter if it is 10 years, 20 years or more, as long as we are still alive ... we will not cease to press for the truth,” said Bai Zhong, from China, whose wife was on the plane. “We believe the truth will eventually come to light,” he added.

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