The underwater search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared nearly three years ago during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, has been called off after countless searches failed to find the wreckage.
“Today the last search vessel has left the underwater search area. Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has not been located in the 120,000 square-kilometer underwater search area in the southern Indian Ocean,” the governments of Malaysia, Australia, and China said in a joint statement.
The statement added: “Despite every effort using the best science available, cutting edge technology, as well as modeling and advice from highly skilled professionals who are the best in their field, unfortunately, the search has not been able to locate the aircraft.”
The decision to end the search was taken in July 2016, when the three countries agreed during a meeting that the search area should not be expanded, unless new information comes available that could narrow down the area.
“We remain hopeful that new information will come to light and that at some point in the future the aircraft will be located,” the governments said in Tuesday’s joint statement.
Flight MH370 was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it disappeared from civilian radar on March 8, 2014. Investigators believe that the aircraft – which was carrying 239 people – continued to fly for nearly 7 more hours before crashing into the southern Indian Ocean.
The disappearance sparked the largest and most expensive search in aviation history, but the main wreckage was never found. The only wreckage found to date are a number of pieces that have washed up in a number of countries.
The first such piece washed up on France’s Reunion Island in July 2015, confirming for the first time that the aircraft had crashed into the Indian Ocean. Additional debris was later found on the coasts of Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, and Rodrigues Island in Mauritius.
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