Last updated: 10:36 AM ET, Tue May 17 2016

Search Officials Admit 'Possibility' MH370 Will Not Be Found

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | May 17, 2016

Search Officials Admit 'Possibility' MH370 Will Not Be Found

Search area map image courtesy of Australian Transport Safety Bureau

Australian authorities in charge of the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 have acknowledged that there is a “decreasing possibility” that the plane will be found.

According to The Guardian, there is only 15,000 sq km of search area remaining after investigators have already scoured over 105,000 sq km of seafloor in the Indian Ocean over the last two years.

The search operation has cost Australia and Malaysia $133.3 million in total—plus $14.8 million from China—but the realistic chances of ever finding the aircraft continue to dwindle. After two years of searching, coming up empty-handed would be a major blow to the search teams and the families of the victims.

“When we walked into this, the best advice we had from all experts is that it was highly probably but not certain the aircraft would be found in this area,” Australian Transport Safety Bureau head Martin Dolan told The Guardian. “We have to contemplate now the possibility that we will not find the aircraft. They’ve put their hearts and souls into something that we thought – and still think – has a high prospect of success. We’re just now contemplating the alternative.”

Search teams will not go beyond the approved 120,000 sq km area, which should be completed in the coming months. If investigators don’t find any further evidence in the remaining 15,000 sq km, the entire search effort will be called off.

Earlier in May, the Malaysian government announced that two pieces of airplane debris recovered recently "almost certainly" came from the missing plane. In total, investigators believe five pieces of debris from MH370 have been discovered.


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