Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia today said the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 will not be shifted after five pieces of debris was found in the Western Indian Ocean, some two years after the plane carrying 239 people vanished mysteriously.
“We won’t shift the search area as this was confirmed by our experts based on the drift patterns of the recovered debris,” Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said.
When asked whether or not the search area will be expanded, Mr Liow said it will be decided after the tripartite meeting of Malaysia, Australia and China in June or July.
He said the search team was confident of finding more debris and probably the main wreckage in the Southern Indian Ocean.
“It is important that we find the wreckage of MH370. We need to look for the wreckage and analyse the cause of the incident,” he added.
“The search will be continued as we are certain that more debris will be found in the area following the confirmation that the five pieces of debris found in Mozambique and Rodrigues Island near Mauritius were almost certain from MH370.
“So far we have completed 1,05,000 square kilometres and will continue to search until we complete the 1,20,000 square kilometre area identified by experts,” he was quoted as saying by New Straits Times.
He said the search area covered 99 per cent of MH370’s flight path and where it ended was determined by experts.
MH370’s disappearance is one of the world’s biggest aviation mysteries. The plane vanished from radar on March 8, 2014 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people, including five Indians, on board.
The jetliner’s journey is believed to have ended somewhere in a remote stretch of the southern Indian Ocean about 1,800 kilometers off Australia’s west coast.
Despite a two-year investigation costing millions of dollars, only one piece of debris has been confirmed as coming from the aircraft – a 6-foot-long wing flap that washed up on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean.
Australian officials last month had said the two pieces of debris recovered from beaches in Mozambique almost certainly belonged to the missing flight.
Yesterday, Malaysia said the two more pieces of plane debris found in South Africa and Mauritius “almost certainly” belonged from MH370.
Australia is leading the massive multi-nation search in the remote southern Indian Ocean, believed to be the final resting place of the Boeing 777.
The relatives of several passengers aboard flight MH370 have filed suits against the Malaysia Airlines amid doubts about the official explanation for the plane’s disappearance.