MH370 families want possible debris studied
Relatives of some of the 239 passengers and crew on missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 have called for more of its possible debris to be examined to define a new search area. Malaysia, China and Australia agreed in July that the search in the southern Indian Ocean would be suspended after the current 120,000sqkm expanse has been thoroughly examined with deep sea sonar equipment in the absence of credible new evidence that identified the plane’s location. Eight relatives of lost passengers who met with Australian officials coordinating the search on behalf of Malaysia expressed frustration that they were not given a definition of what constituted credible new evidence that would result in a continuation of the search. American wreckage hunter Blaine Gibson attended the meeting at the Australian Transport Safety Bureau headquarters with the relatives from Malaysia, China, Australia and Indonesia and handed over to investigators five pieces of potential debris that he found on beaches in Madagascar. Two of the pieces were burnt, which could indicate a disastrous fire on board, he said. Gibson previously found a panel from Flight 370 in Mozambique. Malaysia has yet to collect other potential debris that Blaine has found washed up on Madagascar since June and handed to authorities there. “I hope that the search will go on and in my amateur opinion this constitutes new, credible evidence that justifies continuing the search,” Gibson said of his unconfirmed debris find. Some confirmed pieces of debris have washed ashore in the western Indian Ocean, and the families believe other items yet to be examined may be clues to the plane’s location. Sheryl Keen, chairwoman of Air Crash Support Group, which is supporting the relatives, called on Malaysia to collect the debris found by Gibson on Madagascar and to consider handing responsibility for the search to Australia.