Even after 9 years, everyone is still asking the same questions they did since day 1 after the fateful 8 March 2014 incident.
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Today marks the 9th year of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 which carried 239, including crew members.
A brief recap
MH370 was an international passenger flight. The Boeing 777 took off on 8 March 2014 at 12.42 am from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport headed for Beijing.
It carried 227 passengers and 12 crew. There were two pilots, 10 flight attendants and five children on board.
Of the total 239 people on board, 153 were China nationals, 38 were Malaysian and the rest were from Indonesia, Australia, India, France, the United States, Iran, Ukraine, Canada, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Russia, and Taiwan.
It made its last contact with the air traffic control over the South China Sea at 1.19 am, with the last words: “Goodnight, Malaysian Three Seven Zero”.
The final known sighting of the plane on military radar was at 2.22 am.
The search for MH370 was one of the largest surface and underwater hunts in aviation history. It was also the most expensive too, incurring about RM605 million.
On March 15 2014, former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak revealed that data showed the flight changed its course and was headed towards the Indian Ocean.
For nearly three years, underwater search efforts were conducted some 2,500 km south-west of Perth. But the search was called off in January 2017.
It was resumed in January 2018 by Ocean Infinity in the southern Indian Ocean but it also ended in June of the same year without success.
Dozens of pieces of debris allegedly from the aircraft have washed ashore, including a flaperon found on the French Island of Reunion, and a panel from the right part of the tail with the words “No Step”, found in Mozambique.
However, the entire wreckage of the aircraft has not yet been found and investigators could not make any conclusion on what happened to the plane.
Ocean Infinity wants to resume the search
According to NST, recently, Ocean Infinity will propose to embark on another search for MH370 to Transport Minister Anthony Loke.
At the 9th Annual MH370 Remembrance Event 2023 held by the passengers’ families, Ocean Infinity Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Plunkett said that they were ready to begin the search in the summer, subject to the government’s support and agreement.
They have previously travelled on a “no cure, no fee” journey to the southern Indian Ocean in 2018 but concluded with no discovery. Now, they want to go for it again but are waiting on the government’s say and of course, the budget.
Plunkett further said that there is a material cost to undertake a search and Ocean Infinity is indeed a business, with salaries and other expenses to pay.
I believe it is inherently fair to ask that if we deliver something the government wants and benefits from, they should pay for it.Oliver Plunkett, Ocean Infinity Chief Executive Officer
My sincere hope is that we are able to agree on terms with the minister.
Will continue the search if new credible info is found
In addition, Loke said in a statement last Monday (March 6) that he will not summarily close the book on the MH370 tragedy.
As reported by Bernama, Loke reiterated the Malaysian government’s plan that due consideration will be given to future search operations, should there be new and credible information on the potential location of the MH370’s final resting place.
“I am painfully aware of the desire for closure. Since 2014, Malaysia and its international partners have searched millions of square kilometres through air, ship and undersea operations,” he said in a statement on Sunday (March 5) night.
For the families of the victims, Malaysians will always stand by you and share the weight of this tribulation together.Anthony Loke, Transport Minister of Malaysia
We honour the lives lost and will not forget them.
Family members urge a new search
In an interview with FMT, Grace Nathan and Jacquita Gonzales, family members of the MH370 victims still hope for the government to continue the search.
Grace said that it is important that the search for the missing aircraft continues as it is a matter of aviation safety. The 35-year-old who lost her mother, Anne Daisy, a passenger on the flight, expressed that the government should probe further into the case to ensure that this thing doesn’t happen again.
The same questions we asked on Day 1 nine years ago, we are still asking now after nine years.Grace Nathan, family of MH370 victim
Jacquita, whose husband, Patrick Gomes was an inflight supervisor on MH370 said that having closure is very important as she had not been able to give her husband a proper send-off.
We don’t know what happened or why it happened. So once we get to know all those things, can you imagine how safe travelling would be again?Jacquita Gonzales, family of MH370 victim
In a separate interview with NST, Intan Maizura Othaman, 43, also hoped that she would be able to find out the truth behind the disappearance of her husband, Mohd Hazrin Mohamed Hasnan, who was a crew member aboard the ill-fated aircraft.
I’ve been telling (the authorities), if they died, tell us they died. If they’re buried somewhere, tell us where. At least we can go or bring home shoes, bags, name tag, bones or whatever.Intan Maizura Othaman, family of MH370 victim
After the news of the flight went missing, Intan saw Hazrin in her dreams and heard him saying, “B(aby), you have to move on because I have been signed up to leave (this world).”
Those words served as her inspiration for the strength of raising her two children, aged 14 and 9 to this day.
If you wanna know a bit more on the details and conspiracy theories surrounding the disappearance of the plane, catch Netflix’s documentary called “MH370: The Plane That Disappeared”.