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Relatives of Malaysia plane crash victims mark 10 years since disappearance

A woman is seen between balloons with messages that read “Remember MH370?” during a memorial event for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, in Kuala Lumpur.
| Photo Credit: AFP

Relatives of passengers on a Malaysia Airlines plane that mysteriously vanished 10 years ago pushed for a new search on March 3 as they spoke of enduring grief and the struggle to find closure.

Flight MH370, a Boeing 777 aircraft carrying 239 people, disappeared from radar screens on March 8, 2014, while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Despite the largest search in aviation history, the plane has never been found.

About 500 relatives and their supporters gathered on March 3 at a shopping centre near the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur for a “remembrance day”, with many visibly overcome with grief.

They lit 239 candles, one for each passenger lost on the flight.

Some relatives came from China, where almost two-thirds of the passengers of the doomed plane were from.

“The last 10 years have been a nonstop emotional rollercoaster for me,” Grace Nathan, a 36-year-old Malaysian lawyer whose mother, Anne Daisy, 56, was on the flight, told AFP.

Speaking to the crowd, she called on the Malaysian government to conduct a new search.

“MH370 is not history,” she said.

Liu Shuang Fong, 67, from China’s Hebei province lost her 28-year-old son Li Yan Lin, who was also a passenger on the plane.

“I demand justice for my son. Where is the plane?” said Liu, who flew to Malaysia for the event.

“The search must go on,” she added.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke told reporters that “as far Malaysia is concerned it is committed to finding the plane… cost is not the issue.”

He told relatives at the gathering that he would meet with officials from Texas-based marine exploration firm Ocean Infinity, which conducted a previous unsuccessful search to discuss a new operation.

“We are now awaiting for them to provide suitable dates and I hope to meet them soon”.

Ocean Infinity’s search in 2018 ended after several months of scouring the seabed without success.

An earlier Australia-led search that covered 120,000 square kilometres (46,000 square miles) in the Indian Ocean found hardly any trace of the plane, with only some pieces of debris picked up.

Considered the biggest search in aviation history, the operation was suspended in January 2017.

The plane’s disappearance has long been the subject of a host of theories — ranging from the credible to outlandish — including that veteran pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah had gone rogue.

A final report into the tragedy released in 2018 pointed to failings by air traffic control and said the course of the plane was changed manually.

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