Australia On The Defensive Offers Hope Of New MH370 Hunt

Australia on the defensive offers hope of new MH370 hunt

MELBOURNE, , (Pakistan Point News - APP - 18th Jan, 2017 ) - Australia's transport minister Wednesday defended the suspension of the undersea search for MH370, after relatives of passengers slammed the decision, and added that it could resume if "credible new evidence" emerges. Australia, Malaysia and China -- where most of the 239 on board the missing Malaysia Airlines jet lived -- on Tuesday pulled the plug on the massive operation in the southern Indian Ocean almost three years since the plane vanished on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Transport Minister Darren Chester said the investigation's high cost -- about Aus$200 million (US$150 million) -- was not a factor in the decision. It came after the search of the remote 120,000 square-kilometre zone (46,000 square miles) was completed without success. "I don't rule out a future underwater search by any stretch," Chester told reporters in Melbourne, stressing that the hunt was "not a closed book". But he added, "No-one is coming to me as minister and saying 'We know where MH370 is'. "We don't want to provide false hope to the families and friends. We need to have credible new evidence leading to a specific location before we would be reasonably considering future search efforts." Chester said a future hunt would be primarily a matter for the Malaysian government.