SYDNEY: The massive underwater search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was called off on Tuesday, leaving unsolved one of the most enduring mysteries of the aviation age.
Nearly three years after the airliner vanished, distraught relatives refused to accept the idea that the 239 passengers and crew might now never be found after the failure of one of the most expensive undersea operations ever.
“Despite every effort using the best science available, cutting edge technology, as well as modelling and advice from highly skilled professionals who are the best in their field, unfortunately, the search has not been able to locate the aircraft,” said a statement from Australia, China and Malaysia. “Accordingly, the underwater search for MH370 has been suspended.”
The Malaysia Airlines jet disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014.
The information spawned speculation that the plane had been hijacked or rerouted, but little supporting evidence could be produced and conspiracy theories abounded.
Deep water search specialists scoured the ocean floor at depths of up to several thousand metres (feet) for almost two years before declaring they had done as much as they could.
Malaysia Airlines hailed the search effort as “thorough and comprehensive”, adding it was hopeful “new and significant information will come to light and the aircraft would eventually be located”.
Relatives lashed out at the announcement, with campaign group Voice370 calling on authorities to prolong the hunt, which has cost upwards of $135 million.
“In our view, extending the search to the new area defined by the experts is an inescapable duty owed to the flying public in the interest of aviation safety,” Voice370 said in a statement. “Commercial planes cannot just be allowed to disappear without a trace.”
The search for MH370 was on an unprecedented scale and in one of the world’s remotest locations, where winds tear up north from Antarctica whipping up mountainous seas.
The end of the search, which had been a joint operation by the governments of Australia, Malaysia and China, was flagged months ago, with authorities saying in the absence of significant new information there was nothing more to go on.
courtesy : dawn news