Relatives of flight MH370 call for new search 10 years after disappearance | Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

Families of passengers who were aboard lost Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 have called for a new search operation as they gather ahead of the 10th anniversary of its disappearance, saying answers are needed for the future of flight safety.

Flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, carrying 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers, disappeared from air radar on March 8, 2014. Its disappearance sparked the largest search operation ever, but the fate of the plane was never resolved and remains one of the most important. the world’s greatest aviation mysteries.

On Sunday, hundreds of relatives and well-wishers gathered at a shopping center near Kuala Lumpur to pay their respects to the fallen. They lit 239 candles, one for each passenger lost during the flight.

Jacquita Gonzales, the wife of Patrick Gomes, a shipboard supervisor who was on board, said: “Every year as March 8 approaches, everything that happened on that day, the memories come back like if it was only yesterday. We relive the distressing call from Malaysian Airlines announcing that the plane was missing.

She remembers being glued to the television, hoping for some good news that hadn’t arrived yet. “The only way to solve this problem is to find the plane. This is why it is important to continue research. Don’t let this remain a mystery,” she told an audience on Sunday.

Grace Nathan, a Malaysian lawyer whose mother, Anne Daisy, was on the flight, said: “I continued, but I didn’t move. »

She described experiencing the stages of life without her mother present. Her father wasn’t smiling in his sister’s graduation photos, she said. At her wedding, she carried her mother’s photos on a bouquet of daisies, a reference to her mother’s first name. She longed for her mother as she went through two difficult pregnancies.

Family members of the passengers, including Nathan, campaigned tirelessly for the disappearance of the flight, traveling the world to search for debris and raise awareness. Nathan recalls a trip to Madagascar, where relatives trained people in local fishing villages to search for parts of the plane.

“We are doing this for the future of aviation history. MH370 is not history, it is the future of all our aviation safety every time we take to the skies,” Nathan said.

Relatives questioned authorities’ commitment to solving the mystery. “Is the government interested in the truth and the search for answers? asked KS Narendran, whose wife, Chandrika, was on board. “Sympathy and solidarity from those in power only make sense if they are accompanied by actions to address the sources of people’s pain,” he said in a video speech.

“We want to see action… Treating MH370 as a freak event and taking a status quo stance is normalizing a security threat as an acceptable travel and commercial risk,” added Narendran.

The underwater search for the plane, coordinated by Malaysia, China and Australia, ended in January 2017 after Australian authorities spent almost three years unsuccessfully searching 120,000 km² of southern Australia. the Indian Ocean – an operation which cost 180 million Australian dollars, paid. for Australia and Malaysia.

US marine robotics company Ocean Infinity conducted a search for the aircraft in the Indian Ocean in 2018 after striking a “no search, no fee” deal with the Malaysian government. The search was unsuccessful.

Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke said that “as far as Malaysia is concerned, they are committed to finding the plane… cost is not the issue.”

He told those close to him at the meeting that he would meet with Ocean Infinity officials to discuss a new operation. “We are now waiting for them to offer us suitable dates and I hope to meet them soon,” he said.

Debris confirmed or believed to be from the plane has washed up on the coasts of South Africa, Mauritius, Mozambique and elsewhere. None ultimately led to the discovery of the plane.

The flight was carrying 152 Chinese nationals and 50 Malaysians, as well as passengers from Australia, Canada, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, the Netherlands, New Zealand, from Russia, Taiwan, Ukraine and the United States.

AFP contributed to this report

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