Search for MH370 in 'final lap': Malaysian official

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-01-06 16:59
Search for MH370 in 'final lap': Malaysian official

Flight officer Rayan Gharazeddine looks out of a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) AP-3C Orion as it flies over the southern Indian Ocean during the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 March 22, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

KUALA LUMPUR -- The ongoing search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has entered "final lap" and a tripartite meeting would be held to decide the next step, a Malaysian official said on Friday.

The search of the 120,000-square-km area in the South Indian Ocean is "in the final lap", possibly completed "within these two weeks", Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai told reporters.

The governments of Malaysia, Australia and China will wait for the final search report before holding a tripartite meeting, he said.

The state news agency quoted Liow as saying that the tripartite meeting, which could be held at the end of this month, would decide whether to continue the search for the ill-fated flight.

A recent report released by Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which in charge of the underwater search efforts for missing, admitted there is a "high probability" the aircraft is not within the existing search area.

"We cannot just base on assumptions, we need credible clues to look for the plane, so we are waiting for the final report," Liow said when asked about the possibility of extending the search area.

Flight MH370 disappeared in March 2014 with 239 passengers and crew on board, most of them Chinese, en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. The three nations have decided to suspend the search operation after finishing the 120,000 square km if no credible information emerged.


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