MH370 Search May Not Be Over

POOL New  Reuters

A tripartite committee of Malaysia, Australia and China made a decision to suspend the search in January and refused to undertake any further operations unless investigators looking into the flight's disappearance had a more precise location.

United States marine exploration firm Ocean Infinity says "good progress" has been made to renew the hunt for the Malaysia Airlines jet, which disappeared en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 people on board in 2014.

Ocean Infinity's search will focus on the seafloor that has been identified by experts as the "next most likely location to find MH370", the statement said.

The Malaysian government later reiterated the point, releasing a statement saying that negotiations are still ongoing.

However late previous year the Minister for Infrastructure, Darren Chester, said any resumption of the search required precise identification of the final resting place of the wreckage.

"We wish to inform that at this juncture, the Malaysian Government has yet to arrive into an agreement with Ocean Infinity for the search of MH370 as widely reported in the media recently", the Friday statement from the Civil Aviation Department said.

The Boeing 777 vanished from radar less than 40 minutes after taking off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport just after midnight on March 8, 2014.

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Azharuddin, who heads the MH370 Response Team said the team had received several proposals from interested parties to locate the missing aircraft and that included an offer by "Ocean Infinity" on a "No Cure No Fee" basis.

Chinese citizen Steve Wang, whose mother was on MH370, told CNN that the prospects of a third party continuing the search was 'definitely good news'.

Mr Chester said he was hopeful but did not want to raise the 'hopes for the loved ones of those on board'.

The original search, led by Australia, lasted more than two years and took in 120,000 sq km (46,332 sq miles) of the Indian Ocean.

"I hope that this new search will bring answers, both for the next of kin and for the rest of the world".

MH370 had 239 passengers and crew members on board. It is suspected the plane veered off its route and crashed somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean.

Delivering its report into the disappearance earlier this month, Australia's Transport Safety Bureau said it was "almost inconceivable" that the aircraft had not been found.

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