As the anniversary approaches of the bizarre disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines flight, it’s been announced that a renewed search for the missing aircraft will soon conclude.
Malaysian officials said Saturday that a search led by a U.S. firm will end in June. This coming Thursday marks four years since MH370 famously vanished on March 8, 2014.
Flight MH370 was carrying 239 people and disappeared while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The Malaysian government agreed to pay the firm Ocean Infinity as much as $70 million if they were able to find the plane within 90 days, Reuters reports.
The search began Jan. 23 but Malaysia’s civil aviation chief said the 90-day term would be spread over several months because the search vessel has to refuel in Australia.
Officials believed there was an 85 percent chance of finding the debris in the new 9,650-square-mile search area identified by experts.
But by last week, the firm said it was yet to make any significant findings.
Mourners gathered Saturday in a Kuala Lumpur public square to mark the sad anniversary and remember loved ones.
“It is still so painful, it could’ve happened yesterday and I still feel it,” Grace Nathan, a relative of an MH370 victim, said at the event. “Four years for us is the same as four hours, four days, four weeks. We still really really miss all of the people that we love, we still don’t know what happened to them.”
Relative Jaquita Gomes also spoke.
“We will never never, ever, ever forget those onboard, no matter what, be it 10 years from now, 15 years from now — they will still be in our hearts, in our prayers, and constantly in our mind because we will recall everything that we have done for them,” Gomes said.
While pieces of debris have washed up on land and have been confirmed as parts of MH370, the crash site itself is still yet to be found.
As much as it is for the peace of mind of family members of the victims, authorities also hope to find the plane to determine what caused the crash and avoid a similar tragedy in the future.
It is unclear whether the Boeing 777 suffered mechanical failure or whether it was intentionally diverted over the southern Indian Ocean.