MH370 families want search for plane to continue


KUALA LUMPUR: Families of the victims of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 want the search for the ill-fated airliner to continue, according to The Australian.

They want the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which is leading the search at the request of Malaysia, to gather new information which will faciliate the continued search for the missing plane.

“We want to call on Malaysia, Australia and China to make a concerted effort to go all out and look for this new credible information,” said Malaysian Grace Nathan whose mother Anne Daisy was on board the aircraft.

She hopes the three countries do not think that people will find MH370-related debris by fluke. “Drift modelling, based on discovery of debris found so far, could be used to define a new search area.”

Nathan noted that Blaine Gibson alone had so far found 15 pieces of debris believed to be from MH370.

Eight relatives from four nations — Malaysia, Australia, China and Indonesia — met with ATSB officials in Canberra on Monday. American wreckage hunter Blaine Gibson was present as well.

“I hope the search will go on,” Gibson told the media. “In my amateur opinion, the latest two pieces found constitutes new credible evidence that justifies continuing the search.”

The two pieces were burnt, suggesting a fire on board MH370. Gibson handed five pieces, found on Madagascar, to the ATSB.

Earlier, the relatives visited the Dutch Fugro Equator search vessel when it docked at Fremantle. They met with crew members of the vessel. It’s not known what was discussed.

The three countries agreed in July to suspend the search for MH370 once the current search area has been scoured. The suspension, the three countries qualified, would be in the absence of credible new information.

ATSB is looking for the aircraft in an area covering 120,000 sq km in the 7th Arc in the southern Indian Ocean, southwest of Australia.

MH370 disappeared on 8 March 2014 on a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It had 239 passengers and crew on board.

It’s not known where the aircraft went after it rounded the northern tip of Sumatra. It’s believed from satellite pings, electronic handshakes from the aircraft, that it headed to the southern Indian Ocean.

It’s known the aircraft stopped short of Vietnam and turned around. It was tracked by military radar across the Malay Peninsula and over Pulau Perak in the Straits of Malacca before making its way to the northern tip of Sumatra.