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MH370 vanished a decade ago and search efforts stopped several years later. A U.S. company wants to try again.

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Melbourne — Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said Monday he would be “happy to reopen” the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 if “compelling” evidence emerged, opening the door to a renewed hunt a decade after the plane disappeared.

“If there is compelling evidence that it needs to be reopened, we will certainly be happy to reopen it,” he said when asked about the matter during a visit to Melbourne.

His comments came as the families marked 10 years since the plane vanished in the Indian Ocean with 239 people aboard.

“I don’t think it’s a technical issue. It’s an issue affecting the lives of people and whatever needs to be done must be done,” he said.

Search Continues For Possible Malaysian Airliner Debris Found In Indian Ocean
Crew on board a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion scan ahead as they search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 debris or wreckage on March 22, 2014, in the Southern Indian Ocean, off the west coast of Australia.

Pool/Getty


Malaysia Airlines flight 370, a Boeing 777 aircraft, 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 and the operation was suspended in January 2017.

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

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

CHINA-AUSTRALIA-MALAYSIA-MALAYSIAAIRLINES-ACCIDENT-TRANSPORT
Chinese relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 take part in a prayer service at the Metro Park Hotel in Beijing, China, April 8, 2014.

WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty


“The last 10 years have been a nonstop emotional rollercoaster for me,” Grace Nathan, whose mother Anne Daisy was on the flight, told AFP. Speaking to the crowd, the 36-year-old Malaysian lawyer called on the government to conduct a new search.

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,” he said.


Huge stakes in Texas firm’s hunt for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370

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Ocean Infinity’s chief executive Oliver Plunkett said in a statement shared with CBS News that his company felt it was “in a position to be able to return to the search” for MH370, and he said it had “submitted a proposal to the Malaysian government” to resume operations.

Plunkett said that since the previous effort was called off, Ocean Infinity had “focused on driving the transformation of operations at sea; innovating with technology and robotics to
further advance our ocean search capabilities.”

He acknowledged the mission to find the plane was “arguably the most challenging” one his company had undertaken, and he gave no indication of any breakthroughs over the last six years or so. But he said his team had spent that time working with “many experts, some outside of Ocean Infinity, to continue analysing the data in the hope of narrowing the search area down to one in which success becomes potentially achievable.”

It was not immediately clear if the Malaysian government, in the transport minister’s upcoming meetings with Ocean Infinity officials, would see the “compelling” evidence Prime Minister Ibrahim said would convince him to launch a new operation, but Plunkett said in his statement that he and his company “hope to get back to the search soon.”

An earlier Australia-led search that covered some 46,000 square miles in the Indian Ocean – an area roughly the size of Pennsylvania – found hardly any trace of the plane, with only some pieces of debris picked up.

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