‘Don’t abandon search’, MH370 kin plead

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An international grouping of MH370 next-of-kin plead for authorities to continue hunting for the Malaysia Airlines jet’s oceanic crash site even if nothing is found in the designated search zone.

‘Don’t abandon search’, MH370 kin plead

AFP TEXT STORY :’Don’t abandon search’, MH370 kin plead Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) – 21 July 2016 15:28 – AFP An international grouping of MH370 next-of-kin pleaded Thursday for authorities to continue hunting for the Malaysia Airlines jet’s oceanic crash site even if nothing is found in the designated search zone.The appeal by Voice 370 came as transport ministers from Australia, China and Malaysia prepared for a meeting Friday that could decide how much longer the frustrating deep-sea search continues.Voice 370 “appeals to Malaysia, Australia and China not to abandon the search” if the current zone comes up empty, a statement by the group said.The Australian-led operation is scouring the seafloor within a 120,000-square-kilometre (46,000-square-mile) belt of remote Indian Ocean where authorities believe the passenger jet went down.That area is expected to be fully searched possibly in the next few weeks.The three countries have said the hugely expensive high-tech sonar operation far off western Australia will not be further expanded without “credible” new evidence pointing to a crash site.”If for any reason an immediate extension of search activities cannot be carried out, then the search should merely be suspended, not abandoned in totality,” Voice 370 said.The statement was released at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur in which about one dozen grim-faced next-of-kin held up placards pleading with authorities not to give up.The Boeing 777 vanished March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard, mostly Chinese nationals, in what remains one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history.Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester said this week that Friday’s meeting in Malaysia would be an opportunity to “discuss next steps” as the search nears completion.Amid fears the operation will soon end, anxious families have stepped up calls for it to be continued indefinitely until the mystery is solved.Many families are skeptical the search is in the right place, and Voice 370 has previously called for a full public double-checking of data used to determine the suspected crash region.Its statement Thursday also repeated calls for a concerted international effort to find and study more debris in the western Indian Ocean.Several pieces of debris that apparently drifted thousands of kilometres toward the African coast have been identified as definitely or probably from the Boeing 777.Those finds have confirmed the plane went down but have so far shed no light on the cause.skc-dma/

Tags : Plead, Mh370, search, Abandon, Dont

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