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Make Or Break Search For MH370

12 January 2018

The Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 had been flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with a total of 239 people on board when it disappeared in March 2014.

Malaysian transport minister Liow Tiong Lai said a Houston-based private firm, Ocean Infinity, would search for MH370 in that 25,000-sq-km priority area on a "no-cure, no-fee" basis, meaning it will only get paid if it finds the plane. The amount rises gradually to a maximum of $70-million if the jet is found outside the 25,000 square kilometre search zone. Oliver Plunkett, the Malaysian government and Ocean Infinity CEO participated in the signing of the deal and that took place at a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday which attracted the attendance of quite a significant number of those who lost their loved ones in the crash. Hopefully, Ocean Infinity can finally locate the aircraft to once and for all solve this lingering mystery. The search will focus on an area in the Southern Indian Ocean approximately the size of Vermont that experts have narrowed down as having the best chances for success.

According to the reports, Ocean Infinity will command a fee of 20 million dollars, if the debris field (scattered remains of the plane at the bottom of the ocean), cockpit voice recorder or flight recorder are discovered within the first 5,000 sq km. Beyond that area, Ocean Infinity will receive $70 million, Liow said. Six unmanned surface vessels work with the underwater vehicles for precise positioning and communications, Ocean Infinity says on its website.

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It has 65 crew, including two government representatives drawn from the Malaysian navy. Plunkett said the underwater drones can cover 463 square miles a day. It was for that particular reason that it has finally chose to award a "no-find, no-fee" contract to one of the biggest private US-based tech companies and it exudes confidence that this time around it won't miss.

The company's shareholders would bear the upfront costs of the search, Plunkett added.

At least three pieces of debris collected from sites on Indian Ocean islands and along Africa's east coast have been confirmed as being from the missing plane.

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Lai said the company has been given a deadline of 90 days to complete the search and will not charge any fee if it is unable to locate the remains of the flight that is believed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean.

Relatives and friends of those on board, as well as the aviation industry itself, are desperate for answers, but the events of that fateful night remain a mystery.

Investigators believe someone may have deliberately switched off the plane's transponder before diverting it thousands of miles out over the Indian Ocean.

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Make Or Break Search For MH370