Malaysia meet agrees to suspend MH370 search operations

Statement from tripartite meeting underlines aspirations to locate flight missing since March 8, 2014 not abandoned

Malaysia meet agrees to suspend MH370 search operations

World Bulletin / News Desk

A ministerial tripartite meeting in Malaysia's administrative capital Putrajaya has decided to suspend search operations for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 after a search of a currently earmarked area is completed. 

The decision was taken after transport ministers from Malaysia, China and Australia met Friday to deliberate on the next course of action, after the current search operations within a 120,000 square kilometer area wrap up.

According to a joint communique released in conjunction with the meeting, the ministers agreed that should the aircraft not be located in the current search area, and in the absence of credible new evidence leading to the identification of a specific location of the aircraft, the search will not end, but be suspended. 

"The suspension does not mean the termination of the search," the statement said, underlining that aspirations to locate flight MH370 had not been abandoned.

Should credible new information emerge which could be used to identify the specific location of the aircraft, consideration would be given in determining consequent steps, the statement added.

Flight MH370, carrying 239 passengers and crew, disappeared from radar shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing on March 8, 2014. 

The jetliner has yet to be found despite massive search operations in the southern Indian Ocean where the aircraft was believed to have ended its flight after diverting from its original route.

The search and rescue mission -- which began immediately after it disappeared -- involved some 160 assets inclusive of 65 aircraft and 95 vessels as well as experts from 25 countries.

To-date, six pieces of debris believed to be from MH370, which was carrying 239 passengers and crew members, including 152 Chinese citizens, have been found.

After 10 months of intensive undersea search, Malaysia declared MH370 lost Jan. 29 2015 in an accident, killing all on board.

On July 29 last year, a piece of aircraft debris was found washed ashore east of Madagascar. The debris -- believed to be from a Boeing 777, was sent to Toulouse, France, for analysis the following day.

Days after, Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that the flaperon was from MH370, and that the flight had ended in the Indian Ocean.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Temmuz 2016, 16:10