MH370 families aim to privately fund search for missing aircraft | News | DW | 04.03.2017
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MH370 families aim to privately fund search for missing aircraft

The families of passengers and crew onboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 have launched a campaign to raise money for a search for the plane. A years-long operation by three governments has failed to locate it.

Relatives of those who went missing onboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 announced on Saturday that they planned to raise millions to fund a search for the aircraft, which vanished nearly three years ago.

Grace Nathan, a Malaysian lawyer whose mother, Anne Daisy, was on the plane, said the families hoped to raise around $15 million (14.1 million euros) as a start. She said the money would be used to finance a search north of the region of the southern Indian Ocean that was jointly scoured for nearly three years by Australia, Malaysia and China without success.

However, Nathan said no money would be gathered until it was sure the three governments had definitely ceased their efforts to find the plane.

"We won't start fundraising until we're sure that the governments are not going to resume the search and until the current data has been fully reviewed and analyzed," she said at a MH370 memorial event in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

'Must not remain a mystery'

The three governments, who suspended their search operations on January 17, have said they will relaunch the search if credible evidence as to the plane's location were to emerge.

Another MH370 relative, Jacquita Gomes, whose husband was a flight attendant on the plane, said families were being forced to take action on their own behalf.

The disappearance "should not go down in history books as a mystery," she said.

MH370 families have often expressed frustration at the way the official search has been carried out.

Debris discoveries

MH370 vanished on March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, in what is one of the greatest aviation mysteries of all time.

Last year, international experts assisted Voice 370, a MH370 support group, to carry out a private search along the coast of East Africa, where some debris from the plane has been discovered.

Two new pieces of potential wreckage were found in South Africa just two weeks ago, according to the Malaysian transport minister.

tj/jlw (Reuters, AP)

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