Malaysia has spent nearly $75 million searching for missing flight MH370 since it fell off radar and disappeared in March 2014, the transport ministry said Monday. The transport ministry has also made plans to pay family members compensation packages for loss of life, the Strait Times reported Monday.
Flight MH370 was traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014 when it mysteriously disappeared from radar. The plane, with its 239 passengers, seemingly vanished without a trace, and no verified evidence was found until July of this year after a flaperon that washed up on Reunion island in the Indian Ocean was verified to be from flight MH370.
The flaperon is still the only piece of evidence confirmed to have been from the missing plane, and it allows little insight into what happened to the plane and its passengers. The full picture of the last moments of the Malaysian plane will only be understood, according to experts, after the black boxes, which record flight data and pilot conversations, are found.
Malaysia Airlines has begun offering advance compensation for the next of kin of passengers onboard the missing plane, amounting to $50,000 per passenger.
— Astro AWANI (@501Awani) November 2, 2015
Seven other nations in addition to Malaysia have helped in the search, including Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States. Australian transport authorities have led the underwater search for debris, spending more than Malaysia in the search and putting up $76 million as of July.
Australia and Malaysia have repeatedly asked China to contribute money to the search, particularly since China had more citizens onboard than Australia, for instance. China continued to refuse as of Wednesday, Australian media outlets reported. Money for the search will likely dry up by spring 2016, authorities said.