Though theories on exactly what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 will likely persist for years to come, the four-year search is coming to an end.
The Malaysia minister of transport told reporters on Wednesday that the hunt for the passenger plane, which mysteriously disappeared on March 8, 2014 while carrying 239 people en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, by a private U.S. company is ending next week.
“There will be no more extensions. It cannot continue forever,” Anthony Loke told the Associated Press. “Let’s wait until May 29 and we will then decide how to proceed.”
After an official search of the southern Indian Ocean by Australia, Malaysia and China was called off in Jan. 2017 after spending estimated $160 million, according to Time. Malaysia signed a “no cure, no fee” deal with Ocean Infinity in Jan. 2018 to resume the hunt for evidence of the plane, the AP reported. However, after two extensions of the search, the seabed exploration firm has not recovered any answers.
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60 Minutes Australia shared the results of their investigation into the mystery earlier this month, with experts asserting the passengers and crew onboard were victims of a tragic act carried out by Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah rather than an accident.
“He was killing himself,” claimed Canadian Air crash investigator Larry Vance. “Unfortunately, he was killing everybody else on board, and he did it deliberately.”
Shah’s family disputed the panel’s conclusion, telling CBS News in a statement that “pointing a finger toward him does not make them expert investigators — they have to find the plane.”
Vance added that he believed the plane was “not scattered all over the bottom of the ocean.”
“The right wing may be off, the engines are separate, but you basically have four pieces of the [airplane] down there,” he said.