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MH370: Last scheduled search for missing passengers



(CANBERRA, Australia) – Australia said there would be hope Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 would one day be found when the last search for the seabed in the remote Indian Ocean, where it was believed to have lost, was scheduled for Tuesday

Malaysia said last week that the search for the company Ocean Infinity in Texas would end on Tuesday after two extensions of the original 90-day deadline.

Australian Transport Minister Michael McCormack said the four-year search was the largest in aviation history, testing the limits of technology and the capacity of experts and people at sea.

"Our thoughts are with the families and relatives of the 239 people aboard MH370," McCormack's office said in a statement. "We will always be hopeful that the plane will one day be found."

Malaysia signed a contract with Ocean Infinity for "no cure, no charge" in January to resume the hunt for the plane one year after the official search of the southern Indian Ocean was canceled by Australia, Malaysia and China. No other search is planned.

Australia, Malaysia and China agreed in 201

6 that an official search would resume only if the three countries had credible evidence identifying a specific location for the wreckage.

Malaysia said last week an Ocean Infinity ship Seabed Contractor, which operates underwater sonar drones, had searched more than 96,000 square kilometers (37,000 square miles) of the ocean. The search area, considered by experts to be the most likely crash site, was only 25,000 square kilometers (about 9,650 square miles), about the size of Vermont.

Ocean Infinity did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Boeing 777 disappeared on March 8, 2014 when it flew to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The original search focused on the South China Sea before analysis revealed that the plane had made an unexpected turn west and then south.

Australia co-ordinated an official search of Malaysia, which sifted through 120,000 square kilometers (46,000 square miles) and cost 200 million Australians dollars ($ 150 million) before it ended last year

Danica Weeks, an Australian resident, her husband Flight 370 lost, urging Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to urge the new Malaysian government to be more transparent about what they are about the mysterious disappearance

"There were so many theories and rumors and … we do not know what is true and what not, "Weeks told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

"I want Julie Bishop to say it to Malaysian colleagues now: what have you got, where's the investigation?" She added.

The Official Seabed Hunt, which ended last year, Peter Foley, said before a hearing by the Australian Senate last week that he still hopes that Ocean Infinity will succeed.

"If that were not so, it would be a great sadness for all of us, of course," said Foley.


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