Dutch firm's ships recalled as MH370 search comes up short
The search in the Indian Ocean for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has been called off, the three involved countries, China, Malaysia and Australia, announced. The plane has not been found. Ships searching for the missing plane, including those of Dutch company Fugro, are being recalled, AD reports.
The Boeing 777 disappeared in March 2014. The plane had 239 people on board and was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Most of the passengers were Chinese, with a number of Malaysians and Australians. The flight's disappearance is considered one of the biggest mysteries in aviation.
"Despite every effort using the best science available, cutting-edge technology, as well as modeling and advice from highly skilled professionals who are the best in their field, unfortunately, the search has not been able to locate the aircraft", the Australian, Malaysian and Chinese governments said in a joint statement, according to Australian broadcaster ABC. "Whilst combined scientific studies have continued to refine areas of probability, to date no new information has been discovered to determine the specific location of the aircraft."
A total area of 120 thousand square kilometers was searched, costing over 160 million dollars.
The representatives of the three countries stated that this decision was not made lightly and acknowledged the impact it will have on the families of passengers and crew, who have been missing for almost three years. "We again take this opportunity to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives and acknowledge the enormous loss felt by their loved ones", they said in the statement. "We remain hopeful that new information will come to light and that at some point in the future the aircraft will be located."
Last year the three countries agreed that the search would be suspended once the area in the Indian Ocean was completely searched and if no new evidence of the plane's location was found. Over the past years three pieces of wreckage identified as belonging to MH370 washed ashore on Mauritius, Reunion and an island near Tanzania. Investigation showed that the plane went down due to a lack of fuel.
Relatives of the victims, united under Voice 370, are disappointed by the decision to call of the search. They can't believe that the countries would let the matter go unsolved. The group criticized the countries for not expanding the search, calling it "an inescapable obligation to the passengers". The group recognizes that the governments made a huge effort, but they call on the three countries to reverse their decision.