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Families of MH370 passengers urge Malaysia for a fresh search

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

Agencia EFE Bangkok, Thailand Mar 03, 2019, 05.20 PM (IST)

An association representing the families of the 239 passengers, who disappeared with Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in 2014, on Sunday called for a fresh search to find the aircraft.

At a public event held in Kuala Lumpur, a few days before the fifth anniversary of the tragedy, Voice 370 requested Malaysian authorities to start a fresh search, which would be the third since the disappearance of the plane.

"Many amongst us continue to struggle (...) Give us answers to what, why and how, and if it comes to it, who. Give us the truth," said KS Narendran whose wife was onboard MH370 when it mysteriously disappeared.

Grace Nathan, whose mother was also on board, called the tragedy an incurable wound and added that a new search would be an investment into improving global aeronautical security.

The event, which was broadcast live on social media, was also attended by the Malaysian Transport Minister, Anthony Loke.

Loke clarified that efforts to find the plane had not been abandoned and hoped they would find the answers to the mystery one day.

He also added that the Malaysian government welcomes any lead or credible evidence to restart the search.

Two previous searches, spread over one part of the Indian Ocean, had failed to locate the remains of the plane.

In a video recording, Oliver Plunkett, CEO of Ocean Infinity, the company who was in charge of conducting the second search, had offered to launch a new search mission to track the seabed.

He said they will charge a fee for the operation only if the search was successful.

During Sunday's event and for the first time in public, the flaperon, a part of the Boeing 777, was displayed to the public.

However, the whereabouts of the main part of the fuselage remains unknown.

The Beijing-bound MH370 had disappeared from the radar on March 8, 2014 about 40 minutes after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, when someone had turned off the communication systems and changed the aircraft's route, according to an official investigation.

Several pieces of debris had been recovered in the last five years on the east coast of Africa, that analysts confirmed to be part of the missing aircraft, a Boeing 777.

So far, 27 pieces have been recovered from the beaches of Reunion, Mozambique, Mauritius, South Africa and Pemba Island (Zanzibar), fragments that were swept away by the Indian Ocean currents, coinciding with the official hypothesis that the plane might have crashed into the Indian Ocean after running out of fuel.

Experts had confirmed that three fragments found in Reunion, Mauritius and Pemba belong to the MH370, while seven other pieces - including parts of the cabin interior - almost certainly belong to the same aircraft, and eight more pieces have a high probability of belonging to the same plane.

Story highlights

At a public event held in Kuala Lumpur, a few days before the fifth anniversary of the tragedy, Voice 370 requested Malaysian authorities to start a fresh search, which would be the third since the disappearance of the plane.