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US Firm to Resume Search for Missing Malaysian Flight
07 January 2018, 10:26 | Darnell Patrick
Reuters Damir Sagolj Messages of hope for the passengers of the MH370 flight that disappeared back in March 2014
The Malaysia Airlines jet disappeared in March 2014 with 239 people - mostly from China - on board en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, triggering one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries.
Malaysia has agreed to allow a USA firm to resume the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that disappeared in March 2014.
The governments of Malaysia, Australia and China suspended the search operation in January 2017 after nearly three years' efforts in a 120,000-square-km area in the Southern Indian Ocean failed to find any sign of the wreckage of the plane.
"It is our duty to look for answers and the plane, and as of today the government has made a decision to go ahead with the search", he said.
The renewed search is being carried out by a US-based company called Ocean Infinity who are operating on a "no find, no fee" basis, sailing from Durban in South Africa.
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In the initial search for the plane, a 52-day surface search covered an area of several million square kilometers (square miles) in the Indian Ocean west of Australia, before an underwater search mapped 710,000 square kilometers (274,000 square miles) of seabed at depths of up to 6,000 meters (20,000 feet).
The U.S. company, Ocean Infinity, said earlier this week that it was "hopeful of receiving the final contract award for the resumption of the search for MH370 over the coming days".
Investigators believe someone may have deliberately switched off the transponder of the Boeing 777 before diverting it over the Indian Ocean. The ship has unmanned submarines that can descend deep into the ocean.
Through a text sent to the victims'families, the company, which specializes in the exploration of the seabed, explained that a reconnaissance vessel has already entered the search area this week. "This is created to save time should the contract award be forthcoming, as hoped", it said.
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