Families of Flight MH370 victims offer reward for debris

2016-12-05 19:59
 Officials inspecting a large piece of debris found in Tanzania which has been confirmed as a part of a wing flap from missing Malaysia Airlines passenger jet MH370. (ATSB/AFP)

Officials inspecting a large piece of debris found in Tanzania which has been confirmed as a part of a wing flap from missing Malaysia Airlines passenger jet MH370. (ATSB/AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Antananarivo — Anyone who finds a piece of debris from a Malaysia Airlines plane that is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean in 2014 could receive a financial reward, relatives of those who were on the plane said on Monday in Madagascar.

A group of relatives who travelled to the island nation off the southeast coast of Africa made the offer in hopes that residents will scour some coastal areas of Madagascar, where possible parts of Flight MH370 washed ashore.

Meanwhile, a Malaysian official investigating the disappearance of the Boeing 777 was in Madagascar's capital, Antananarivo, to pick up debris that has already been found and will be analysed to see if it came from the aircraft.

"The more debris we find, the easier it will be to find where the crash happened," said Ghislain Wattrelos, a Frenchman who lost his wife and two of his three children when the plane deviated from its flight path from Malaysia to Beijing and vanished on March 8, 2014.

Malaysia, Australia and China are close to completing a deep-sea sonar search, so far unsuccessful, of 120 000 square km off Australia's southwest coast in the Indian Ocean. They say they will suspend operations if there is no new evidence that could help pinpoint the crash site. Relatives of the missing believe the search should continue.

Wattrelos, as well as two people who lost their mothers on the flight — Grace Nathan of Malaysia and Jiang Hui of China — spoke at a news conference in Antananarivo. They did not specify how much money might be given to someone who finds a confirmed piece of Flight MH370, saying it depends on the significance of the debris and the limited resources of the families.

‘One good thing’

"Everything is funded by us," said Wattrelos, a business executive.

That includes the cost of flights, accommodation and other expenses that the relatives are spending on a weeklong trip to Madagascar, which will include travel to coastal areas where plane debris may have washed up after drifting across the ocean.

There, they plan to hand out leaflets asking people to look for possible plane parts, described as often grey, with an interior, honeycomb design. Anyone who finds an item should note the time and place of discovery, take photographs and wrap the item in plastic and hand it to the nearest airport or police station, according to the leaflets.

The families say there are three major areas in Madagascar where Flight MH370 debris could have washed up: Isle Sainte-Marie, Antongil Bay and Nosy Be, a big tourist destination. They also want people in Tanzania and Mozambique to be on the lookout. A piece found in Tanzania has been confirmed as part of the plane, while a couple of pieces found in Mozambique have been described as almost certainly coming from the plane.

Confirmation that the plane crashed came last year when a wing part washed ashore on Reunion Island in the western Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar.

Nathan, the Malaysian who lost her mother, said families asked officials in vain for months to launch a search for debris around Africa, and finally decided to look themselves. She speculated that their trip to Madagascar may have pushed Malaysian investigators to also travel there to pick up debris this week.

"Our initiative to come here has somehow put some pressure on them," Nathan said. "At least one good thing has already come out of our journey."

Read more on:    malaysia airlines  |  air crashes  |  mh370

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.