Malaysia to resume search for missing flight MH370 in southern Indian Ocean

Reuters Damir Sagolj Messages of hope for the passengers of the MH370 flight that disappeared back in March 2014

Reuters Damir Sagolj Messages of hope for the passengers of the MH370 flight that disappeared back in March 2014

A high-tech vessel run by a U.S. exploration firm is en route to resume the hunt for flight MH370 in a new bid to solve one of aviation's greatest mysteries.

The governments of Malaysia, China and Australia called off the 1,046-day official search nearly a year ago without solving the mystery of why it disappeared. But a report from the Australian Transport Safety Board released later in the year pointed to a new search area where the plane could be found.

Ocean Infinity, a Houston-based company, offered the Malaysian government a risk-free undertaking of the project, charging a fee only if it finds the wreckage of the plane.

However, he said, "I don't want to give too much hope ... to the (next of kin)".

The message, seen by AFP, said that the "MH370 Response Team wishes to note that the Government of Malaysia has engaged Ocean Infinity to undertake further search operation for MH370".

He did not offer other details.

Several pieces of aircraft debris have been collected from Indian Ocean islands and along Africa's east coast, with at least three being confirmed as being from the missing plane.

US company Ocean Infinity dispatched a search vessel, the Seabed Constructor, from South Africa earlier this week, ABC reports.

Through a text sent to the victims'families, the company, which specializes in the exploration of the seabed, explained that a reconnaissance vessel has already entered the search area this week. The report said this analysis complemented work detailed in a 2016 review and identified an area of less than 25,000 square kilometers (9,650 square miles) - roughly the size of the USA state of Vermont - that "has the highest likelihood of containing MH370". "This is created to save time should the contract award be forthcoming, as hoped", it said.

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