FILE - In this March 6, 2016, file photo, well wishes are written on a wall of hope during a remembrance event for the ill fated Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Malaysian government has approved a new attempt to find the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the Indian Ocean. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul, File)

Malaysia approves new search for missing airliner

January 06, 2018 - 1:49 am

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The Malaysian government has approved a new attempt to find the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the Indian Ocean, the transport minister said Saturday.

A U.S.-based company early this week dispatched the search vessel Seabed Constructor to look for debris in the southern Indian Ocean, 3 ½ years after the Boeing 777 disappeared on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew.

The governments of Malaysia, China and Australia called off the 1,046-day official search on Jan. 17 last year without solving the mystery. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau's final report on the search conceded that authorities were no closer to knowing the reasons for the plane's disappearance, or its exact location.

"The basis of the offer from Ocean Infinity is based on 'no cure, no fee,'" Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said Saturday. It means that payment will be made only if the company finds the wreckage.

"That means they are willing to search the area of 25,000 square kilometers pointed out by the expert group near the Australian waters," he said.

However, he said, "I don't want to give too much hope ... to the (next of kin)." He said his government was committed to continue with the search.

He did not offer other details.

Ocean Infinity said in this week's statement that the vessel, which left the South African port of Durban on Tuesday, was taking advantage of favorable weather to move toward "the vicinity of the possible search zone."

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