KUALA LUMPUR — January 17, 2017: The underwater search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has been suspended.
A communique from Malaysia, Australia and China stated that the last search vessel for the operation left the 120,000-sq. km. search area in the southern Indian Ocean today.
It said the aircraft had not been located despite every effort, using the best science available, cutting edge technology as well as modelling and advice from highly skilled professionals who are best in their field.
The communique was jointly issued by Malaysian Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Australian Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester and China Transport Minister Li Xiaopeng.
Flight MH370, with 239 passengers and crew aboard, vanished from radar while flying to Beijing from here on March 8, 2014.
While combined scientific studies had continued to refine areas of probability, the ministers said there had been no new information to date, to determine the specific location of the aircraft.
They said the decision to suspend the search has not been taken lightly nor without sadness.
“It is consistent with decisions made by our three countries in the July 2016 Ministerial Tripartite meeting in Putrajaya,” they said.
The ministers reiterated their utmost appreciation to the many nations that had provided expertise and assistance since the early days of the tragedy.
“We have been overwhelmed by the commitment and dedication shown by the hundreds of people involved in the search, which has been an unprecedented challenge.
“Their tireless work has continued to improve our knowledge of the search area and has been critical in our efforts to locate the aircraft.”
The ministers said today’s announcement was significant for the three countries, but more important for the families and friends of those on board the aircraft.
“We again take this opportunity to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives and acknowledge the enormous loss felt by their loved ones.
“We remain hopeful that new information will come to light and that at some point in the future, the aircraft will be located,” they said. — Bernama