Permanent MH370 memorial to be built in Perth: Aussie gov't

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-03-09 10:28

CANBERRA - A permanent memorial to honor the 239 passengers and crew who were on board missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will be built in Perth as soon as possible, Australia's Transport Minister Darren Chester revealed overnight.

After attending a remembrance service on Wednesday afternoon -- the third anniversary of the disappearance of the Boeing 777 jet, Chester announced the permanent memorial would be built in Perth, the closest major city to where the stricken jetliner is thought to be, somewhere in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Chester said that while there was still much "sadness, frustration and disappointment" surrounding the circumstances of the plane's disappearance, he hopes the memorial - to be built as soon as possible - will help families continue to move on with their lives.

"It's a hollow feeling for the families today, but it's important we gather and pay our respects," Chester said in comments published Wednesday night.

"We're still hopeful there may be a breakthrough in weeks or months to come that leads us to the location of MH370."

Earlier this year, it was announced that the Australian-led ocean search for the plane would be suspended indefinitely, until fresh new evidence which points to the jet's location is uncovered.

He added that while the ocean search had been suspended, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau was continuing work in the fields of drift modeling and satellite imagery.

"There's been pieces of debris located over the past couple of years, some far more significant than others and they've given investigators more information, but in terms of credible new evidence leading to a location of MH370 we don't have that yet," he said.

Meanwhile one of the Australian victim's relatives, Amanda Lawton, said Chester's announcement of the permanent memorial was a welcome surprise.

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