April 22, 2019
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Malaysia ends second search for flight MH370, missing since four years

Bangkok Desk, May 29 (efe-epa).- The deadline set by the Malaysian Government for the second attempt to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared in 2014 with 239 people on board, ends Tuesday after searching more than 80,000 square kilometers without finding any traces of the aircraft.

Former Malaysian president Najib Razak, who left office after losing the presidential elections earlier this month, signed a contract in January with the US company Ocean Infinity to track the area of the Indian Ocean where experts believe the plane crashed.

According to the agreement, Malaysia would pay up to a maximum of $70 million if the company found the plane's fuselage and the two black boxes.

With the deadline expired, new Malaysian transport minister Anthony Loke announced last week an official end to the search led by the private American company.

However, the Government has stated that they will review the investigations and left open the possibility of a third search.

The ship Seabed Constructor, hired by Ocean Infinity, supported by eight autonomous underwater vehicles, is still searching on Tuesday where, according to the investigators' calculations, the most likely area of the incident is.

Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 disappeared from the radars on Mar 8, 2014 about 40 minutes after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on the way to Beijing, after someone turned off the communication systems and turned the aircraft around, according to the official investigation.

So far, 27 fragments of the plane have been recovered at beaches in Reunion, Mozambique, Mauritius, South Africa and Pemba Island (Zanzibar), after they followed the currents of the Indian Ocean, according to the official hypothesis of the disaster.

From these retrieved pieces, experts confirmed that three wing fragments found in Reunion, Mauritius and Pemba belong to the MH370, another seven pieces, including parts of the interior of the cabin, are "almost certainly" from the missing aircraft and another eight bear a "high probability."

Ocean Infinity's operations follow the first phase of the search, which was undertaken by the Malaysian, Australian and Chinese authorities at a cost of more than $151 million and suspended in early 2017.

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