Search for Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Suspended

Three years after the Boeing 777 disappeared, the mystery into what happened to the jetliner has only deepened.

MH 370
Officials have called off the search for the Malaysian airliner that disappeared three years ago.Laurent ERRERA

The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been suspended, making it possible the world may never know what really happened to the Beijing-bound Boeing 777 that disappeared while en route from Kuala Lumpur three years ago.

Officials called off the search after scouring the Indian Ocean floor in an area where the jetliner is presumed to have gone down based on satellite communications data broadcast in the final hours before Flight 370 vanished with 239 people onboard.

Debris from the airplane has washed up on far-away beaches on islands in the Indian Ocean and Africa, lending credence to the idea that searches have been looking in roughly the correct area. But without finding the stricken airliner’s main fuselage on the ocean bottom after an intensive search, officials made the difficult call to stop looking.

“Despite every effort using the best science available, cutting-edge technology, as well as modeling and advice from highly skilled professionals who are the best in their field, unfortunately, the search has not been able to locate the aircraft,” a joint statement released by Malaysia, China and Australia read. “The decision to suspend the underwater search has not been taken lightly nor without sadness.”

Searchers scoured the Indian Ocean in a 120,000-square-kilometer area where satellite data predicted the 777 should have gone down based on its presumed track after turning left off course in the early morning hours of March 8, 2014.

The disappearance touched off a media frenzy as the world wondered whether a technical malfunction or perhaps a nefarious act was to blame.

Now with the search for Flight 370 suspended after a fruitless search, it appears likely that the mystery of what happened to the jetliner will only deepen.