Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 22, 2016 20:37:55 GMT 12
MH370: Search for flight to be suspended, says joint panel Last updated 20:09, July 22 2016
The joint statement by Australia, Malaysia and China was sent to relatives of MH370 victims.
The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 will be "suspended" if the plane is not found in the current search area, a statement issued to the next of kin seen by Reuters said.
Ministers from Malaysia, China and Australia met in Kuala Lumpur on Friday to discuss the future of the search in one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries.
The statement said ministers had agreed that if the plane is not found in current search area, and in the absence of new credible evidence on its location, the search "would not end, but be suspended".
Despite the search team's best efforts, the likelihood of finding the downed aircraft is fading, said the statement.
"In the absence of new credible evidence, Malaysia, Australia and China have collectively agreed to suspend the search upon completion of the 120,000sqkm search," Malaysian transport minister Liow Tiong Lai said.
"I must emphasise that this does mean we are giving up on the search for MH370," he added, in a statement read out to the media.
MH370 disappeared during a flight from the Malaysian capital to Beijing in March 2014, carrying 239 people.
Almost US$180 million (NZ$257m) has been spent on an underwater search spanning 120,000sqkm in the southern Indian Ocean, the most expensive in aviation history.
The search, originally scheduled to end in June, has been hampered by bad weather.