January 5, 2018 / 11:21 AM / 6 months ago

U.S. firm "gets go-ahead" to try to solve one of world's greatest aviation mysteries

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Malaysia will allow a U.S.-based exploration firm to resume the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline support group told families of the victims on Friday, in a bid to solve one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries.

Flight MH370, carrying 239 people, disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014. Australia, China and Malaysia ended a fruitless search in January last year.

An email, sent from the MH Family Support Centre and seen by Reuters, said the government had accepted an offer by the company, Ocean Infinity, to resume the search on a "no cure, no fee" basis, meaning the company will only get paid if they find the plane.

A government spokesman declined to confirm that an email had been sent to families but said more details on the deal would be forthcoming. Ocean Infinity did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The company said on Wednesday it had moved a vessel closer to a possible search area. The vessel left Durban, South Africa, on Tuesday and was headed to Perth, Australia, Reuters shipping data showed.

Investigators believe someone may have deliberately switched off the transponder of the Boeing 777 before diverting it over the Indian Ocean.

Several pieces of aircraft debris have been collected from Indian Ocean islands and along Africa's east coast, with at least three being confirmed as being from the missing plane. (Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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