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Families Want Search for Missing Malaysian Flight to Continue

  • VOA News

FILE - Bao Lanfang, second from right, whose daughter-in-law, son, and granddaughter were aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, kneels in grief while speaking to journalists outside the company's offices in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015.

FILE - Bao Lanfang, second from right, whose daughter-in-law, son, and granddaughter were aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, kneels in grief while speaking to journalists outside the company's offices in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015.

The families of those who were aboard missing Malaysia airlines Flight 370 are vowing to never to quit fighting for answers.

They appealed to authorities Sunday to continue searching for the plane, saying that one of aviation's great mysteries must not be left unsolved.

The plane inexplicably vanished during an overnight flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, carrying 239 passengers and crew.

The families of the missing passengers gathered for a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur to mark Tuesday's second anniversary of the jet's disappearance and to argue for an expansion if the area currently being searched in the remote southern Indian Ocean comes up empty.

FILE - Crew aboard the Australian Defense Vessel Ocean Shield move the U.S. Navy's Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle into position for deployment in the southern Indian Ocean to look for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, April 14, 2014.

FILE - Crew aboard the Australian Defense Vessel Ocean Shield move the U.S. Navy's Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle into position for deployment in the southern Indian Ocean to look for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, April 14, 2014.

Search cost

The unprecedented Australian-led hunt for wreckage from the Boeing 777 is expected to finish its high-tech scanning of a designated swathe of sea floor by July. Authorities hope to detect debris far down in the ocean depths and eventually recover and analyze the black boxes for clues.

Australian, Malaysian and Chinese authorities plan to end the search, projected to cost up to $130 million, at that point if no compelling new leads emerge.

Many relatives remain unconvinced that authorities are searching in the right place.

"If they have exhausted one particular line of inquiry, that doesn't mean other areas may not come up with something. Just sit down and ask, 'Okay, what next'?" said K.S. Narendran, an Indian national whose wife Chandrika was aboard.

Many next-of-kin accuse the airline and the Malaysian government of letting the plane slip away through a bungled response and covering up what caused the disappearance.

Some also allege Malaysia wants to stop searching to prevent embarrassing information from emerging, which the airline and government strongly deny.

Sunday's ceremony included prayers, musical performances and the release of 240 white balloons, one for each passenger and another for the plane.

Relatives say acceptance of their unexplained loss remains impossible two years on.

"We don't have anything to accept. We still know nothing and we are all in limbo. If anything, I am worse than before," said Grace Nathan, a Malaysian attorney who lost her mother.

Jacquita Gonzales, wife of flight steward Patrick Gomes, said "We are fighting to search on because our loved ones are not home yet. So how can we say it's the end?

We will fight on to make sure that we get the truth of exactly what happened to all of them. We will not give up."

A piece of the plane washed up on the French-held island of Reunion last year. Last week, new debris yet to be confirmed that it's from MH370 was found on the same Reunion shore and on a Mozambique beach.

But the finds came thousands of kilometers from the suspected crash zone and have yielded no clues.

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