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MH370 search resumes as Malaysia signs deal with US company

The search for MH370 will resume.

The search for MH370 will resume. Photo: Getty

Malaysia has entered into a “no find, no fee” arrangement with a US company in a bid to recover the missing flight MH370 and discover the fate of its 239 passengers.

Late on Thursday, Australia’s Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester acknowledged the agreement between the Malaysian government and the seabed exploration company Ocean Infinity.

“The Malaysian Government has accepted an offer from Ocean Infinity to search for the missing plane, entering into a ‘no find no fee’ arrangement,” the MP said in a statement.

Australia will provide technical assistance at the request of the Malaysian government.

Flight MH370 vanished on March 8, 2014, on the way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with 239 people on board.

Its disappearance is one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries, and sparked the largest ever search, costing about $200 million.

The Australian-led search for the aircraft was suspended in January, much to the anguish of distraught relatives.

Mr Chester said he was hopeful but did not want to raise the “hopes for the loved ones of those on board.”

Researchers from the University of Western Australia in August claimed to know the location of the MH370 crash site.

The researchers said they worked out the precise location of the missing Boeing 777, saying the plane is at the northern end of the last identified impact point, before the search was called off in January.

The UWA crash site was plotted using a reverse-drift model, which successfully predicted where 18 of the 22 pieces of located Boeing 777 debris were found.

mh370 map

UWA research claimed to have pinpointed MH370’s location. Photo: TND

At the time it was suspended, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau released findings from international and CSIRO scientists which identified a smaller 25,000sq km area with “a high probability” that it contained the aircraft.

“Ocean Infinity will focus on that part of the sea floor,” Mr Chester said.
Two Australian women who lost their husbands had earlier told AAP they were excited to hear the search might resume.

Melbourne woman Jennifer Chong, whose husband and the father of her two sons, Chong Ling Tan was on the flight, said she and other relatives had been working for the search to be re-started.

Mother of two Danica Weeks, who lost her husband Paul on the plane, said she was initially physically shaking with joy and felt a “weight lifted” when she read the search might resume.

Ms Weeks and Ms Chong separately sued the airline as a result of the deaths of their husbands.

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