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article imageChinese families of MH 370 victims protest proposed end of search

By Nathan Salant     Jul 29, 2016 in World
Beijing - Family members of passengers aboard ill-fated Maylasia Airlines Flight 370 demonstrated outside China's Foreign Ministry on Friday, demanding to meet officials who propose suspending the high-tech search for the jet if it is not found by year's end.
More than two dozen Chinese citizens joined the protest in Beijing, many carrying signs objecting to the proposal from three nations leading the search of the floor of the Indian Ocean between Indonesia and Africa, according to the Associated Press.
"Since these people spent the money of Chinese taxpayers to represent Chinese relatives . . . they are obliged to see us," said Jiang Hui, whose mother was a passenger on the ill-fated flight.
More than 200 passengers and crew aboard Flight 370 were lost on March 8, 2014, when the Boeing 777 jetliner vanished from radar screens on a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Experts believe the plane changed direction and was flying west over the Indian Ocean when it likely ran out of fuel and crashed.
Several airplane parts believed to come from Flight 370 have been found along the coast of Africa, but the expected large debris field and passengers' remains have not been located.
"We will continue to demand the meeting because we want to know the most accurate information of what was going on," Jiang said.
China, Australia and Malaysia announced last week that the electronic search of the ocean floor, which is costing hundreds of millions of dollars, would be suspended if the wreckage is not found this year.
Friday's protest came hours after officials in Australia said that a wing part found on Pemba Island off Tanzania probably came from Flight 370, the AP said.
Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester said experts at the Australian Transport Safety Bureau have determined that the wing part was "highly likely" to have come from the missing plane.
The bureau previously determined that four pieces of debris very likely came from the missing jet and French experts positively identified another wing part found on Reunion Island.
But authorities still have no explanation for what happened to the jet or where exactly it happened.
Those answers may not be found until searchers find the missing plane's flight data recorders, which are presumably with the wreckage of the Boeing 777's fuselage.
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