MH370 Investigators begin final sweep of search area

Flight MH370 disappeared in March 2014 with 239 passengers and crew on board.

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The survey ship Fugro Equator is the last remaining vessel searching for crash debris from the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 play

The survey ship Fugro Equator is the last remaining vessel searching for crash debris from the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

(FUGRO/AFP/File)
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Investigators looking for debris of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 are making their last sweep of the search area in the Indian Ocean, the Australian authorities, have said.

Flight MH370 disappeared in March 2014 with 239 passengers and crew on board.

Most of the crew were Chinese enroute to Beijing from the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.

The whereabouts of the missing plane had become one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries.

In a statement issued to newsmen on Wednesday in Sydney, Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), said the search was set to be wrapped up in January.

Malaysia, Australia and China agreed in July to suspend the search if the plane was not found or new evidence uncovered once the search area had been scoured.

Australia is leading the search for the plane at the request of the Malaysian government.

The JACC said the search vessel Fugro Equator, on Monday left Fremantle in Western Australia for its last journey to the 120,000-sq-km patch of sea floor that had been the focus of the 1,000-day hunt for the vanished Boeing 777.

The vessel would revisit sites of previous sonar contact to examine them more closely with a submersible drone.

Chinese involvement in the search diminished this week, as the country’s sonar-equipped vessel ended its role in the hunt and returned to Shanghai.

The Dong Hai Jiu 101 joined the search in February, initially contributing deep-sea sonar scans before being reconfigured in October to conduct dive missions with its own remotely operated submersible.

A spokesperson for the search team, Dan O’Malley, said China continues to take part in “regular consultation and briefings’’ for the missing plane.

The undersea search had found no trace of the plane, although three pieces of debris found on the beaches of Mauritius, Tanzania and the French island of Reunion had been confirmed to be from MH370.

Investigators are also examining several other pieces found in Mozambique and South Africa.

Frustrated relatives of missing passengers have demanded that the search be extended to the coastline of east Africa. 

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