08:55 GMT +319 December 2018
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    Relatives of Chinese passengers on board the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 light candles in a prayer room in Beijing, China, Friday, April 4, 2014.

    Families of Missing MH370 Passengers to Present New Debris Found in Madagascar

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    Relatives of the missing flight MH370 passengers released a brief statement this week indicating they will be meeting with officials from the Malaysian government to present new findings, discovered off the coast of Madagascar.

    According to Reuters, family members will be meeting with Malaysia's transport minister on Friday to "hand over newly recovered debris" that they believe came from the plane. Five pieces of debris were uncovered by the search group, which made its most recent find in August.

    A total of 27 pieces of aircraft debris have been collected from various places around the world since the search began for doomed flight MH370. Of those, only three have been confirmed as belonging to the Boeing 777 plane.

    MH370 was traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014 when it suddenly disappeared with 239 individuals onboard. Although multiple searches have been conducted, investigators have been unable to determine a cause for the aircraft's sudden disappearance.

    Australia, Malaysia and China called off their three-year joint search for the plane in January 2017 after failing to find any answers in the 120,000-square-kilometer underwater search zone that officials predicted would contain debris from the plane, which is presumed to have crashed somewhere.

    After the tri-country effort was called to an end, US-based company Ocean Infinity was contracted January 2018 on a "no find, no fee" basis for a three-month search. The company initially provided new hope for families, with its Seabed Constructor, deemed one of the world's most advanced undersea vessels, to be employed in the search

    Having gone past its 90-day deadline and lost the chance to get its hands on a $70 million finder's fee, Ocean Infinity has yet to provide any results, despite its continuing efforts. Earlier this year, in June, the company shifted its focus to an area in the Indian Ocean where Haixun 01, a Chinese naval ship, had detected a "ping" from a suspected black box.

    Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has previously stated that the country would only consider resuming the search if significant clues are brought to light. "We have not found any evidence yet, so we have to come to a stage where we cannot keep searching for something we really cannot find," he said.

    "We regret it very much, and we understand the feelings of the relatives, but we cannot keep on searching for this MH370 forever."

    In a 495-page report released in July, investigators suggested that the Boeing 777 jet's controls may have been "deliberately manipulated" in order to direct the flight off its course, the Independent reported at the time. However, officials were unable to determine who might have been responsible for any potential manipulation, adding that they could not rule out the "unlawful interference by a third party."

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