Missing flight MH370: Decade later, loved ones still wonder

Henry

A decade after Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared without a trace, loved ones of the 239 people on board are still wondering what happened to them. Renewed calls have now been made to resume the search for the plane, because without answers there can be no reassurance either.

Flight MH370, a Boeing 777 aircraft, disappeared from radar screens on 8 March 2014 while the aircraft was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

The incident sparked the largest manhunt in aviation history. Neither the plane nor any occupants were ever found. In 2023, the streaming service Netflix has a documentary, MH370: The plane that disappearedreleased.

The documentary highlighted several possible theories about what could have happened to the plane, while moving interviews were conducted with some of the passengers’ loved ones.

About 500 family members and their supporters gathered at a shopping center near the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur on Sunday to draw renewed attention to the incident and commemorate their loved ones. After ten years, the sadness these families live with was palpable.

They lit 239 candles, one for each passenger on board flight MH370.

Some family members traveled from China, where nearly two-thirds of the passengers on the doomed flight came from.

“The last ten years have been a non-stop roller coaster ride,” said Grace Nathan, a 36-year-old Malaysian lawyer. Her mother, Anne Daisy (56), was on the run.

She spoke to the crowd and called on the Malaysian government to launch a new search.

“MH370 is not history,” she said.

Liu Shuang Fong (67) from China’s Hebei province, lost her 28-year-old son, Li Yan Lin, also a passenger on the plane.

“I demand justice for my son. Where is the plane?” said Liu, who flew to Malaysia for the event.

“The search must continue.”

Transport Minister Anthony Loke told reporters “as far as Malaysia is concerned, the government is committed to finding the plane … cost is not the issue”.

He gave family members at the gathering the undertaking that he would meet with officials from the Texas-based marine exploration company Ocean Infinity to discuss a new search. Ocean Infinity has previously helped with a search, but it was unsuccessful.

“We are now waiting for them to provide suitable dates and I hope to meet them soon.”

Ocean Infinity’s search in 2018 ended after months of searching the ocean floor for the missing plane.

An earlier search by Australia, covering 120,000 square kilometers (46,000 square miles) in the Indian Ocean, found barely any trace of the plane. Some wreckage, possibly that of flight MH370, was found.

The disappearance of the plane has long been the subject of a multitude of theories and speculations. Some theories are plausible, while others are very strange.

Some point the finger at the pilot, while others are convinced that the American and Russian governments may have had something to do with the disappearance.

A final report on the tragedy, released in 2018, pointed to air traffic control errors and stated that the course of the plane had been changed manually.