Relatives want the US company Ocean Infinity, which spent months exploring a piece of the sea floor in 2018, to be given another chance. Nothing was found in 2018, but in the meantime Ocean Infinity had received a lot of new information, which “significantly increased its chances of success,” the Reuters news agency quoted a spokesperson for next-of-kin as saying.
The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines MH370 nine years ago is one of the greatest mysteries in modern aviation history and fuel for the most outlandish theories: the plane was hijacked by Aliens, swallowed by a black hole, dropped by America, landed in India, or disappeared in the “Asian Bermuda Triangle”. In more realistic scenarios, oxygen escaped from the plane, all passengers lost consciousness, and the plane flew south on autopilot across the Indian Ocean until it ran out of fuel and crashed into the sea.
Flight MH370 departed shortly after midnight on 8 March 2014 on a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing. Forty minutes after takeoff, the pilot reported to Malaysian Air Traffic Control:Good night, Malaysian three seven zeroThat was the last to be heard of the MH370.
The plane disappeared from the radar of Malaysian traffic over Vietnamese waters and would never surface. Immediately after the disappearance, a search operation was launched in Vietnamese waters, in which ships and planes from 26 countries took part. Only later did military radar systems appear to have also picked up MH370, and the plane made a U-turn. It also disappeared from military radar over the Strait of Malacca. From satellite signals, it was concluded that the plane had flown southwest of the Indian Ocean.
It was not explained why the plane was spinning. The official Malaysian theory is that due to a malfunction or fire, the instruments were disabled and the oxygen supply failed, rendering the crew and passengers unconscious. According to the researchers, the bending must have been done manually. The pilot may have turned to make an emergency landing. This did not happen again. MH370 flew until it ran out of fuel, then crashed into the sea.
It is now certain that MH370 has crashed. In July 2015, three pieces of a Boeing 777 wing were found in Africa on the beaches of Reunion, Madagascar and Tanzania. Research has shown that this debris did indeed come from the missing MH370. The new calculations then led to the conclusion that the plane crashed in Western Australia.
Malaysia, China and Australia began a large-scale search, with the help of a ship from the Dutch company Fugro, in part. In July 2016, Fugro concluded that the search had been done in the wrong place for two years. In January 2017, the search, which had already cost $140 million, was called off. A subsequent attempt by the US company Ocean Infinity in 2018 failed. Malaysia was promised $70 million if the company was successful. Now the cost was to Ocean Infinity itself. In all, more than 310,000 square kilometers of sea floor were searched in the two searches, more than seven times the size of the Netherlands.
Relatives hope that Malaysia and the company will make another non-treatment and non-payment agreement. If the search succeeds this time, they will finally be able to say goodbye to their loved ones after nine years.
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