U.S. explorer prepares to resurrect search for Malaysia Airlines MH370

By Susan McFarland  |  Jan. 10, 2018 at 7:30 AM
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Jan. 10 (UPI) -- An agreement was reached Wednesday between the Malaysian government and U.S. exploration firm Ocean Infinity to resume searching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The hunt for the China-bound Boeing 777 jet will restart in the middle of this month, officials said. The "no find, no fee" deal could cost up to $70 million if the firm locates the debris field of the jet or its black boxes within 90 days.

With 239 people aboard, MH370 abruptly disappeared on March 8, 2014, on its way to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. No bodies have been recovered and only a few fragments of the jet turned up on Africa's eastern coast.

A two-year underwater search by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau ended a year ago and cost $200 million to Australian, Malaysian and Chinese taxpayers.

During a signing ceremony on Wednesday, Malaysia Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said, "with the technology we have at hand, we hope we can identify the wreckage as soon as possible."

"We came to the conclusion that it is important for us to continue this mission to finally find some answers and closure," Lai added.

The search crew of 65 will include two Royal Malaysian Navy personnel, officials said. Terms of the payment will be divided into four coverage areas, with rewards beginning at $20 million and reaching as much as $70 million, increasing as the search continues.

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