The latest search by a private U.S. company for the doomed Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 will wrap up by next week, officials said Wednesday, even as families of those who died on the flight urged the government to review all matters related to the plane's disappearance.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke told the Associated Press that the 90-day search deal with Texas-based Ocean Infinity was due to end in April but was extended twice until May 29 following the firm's request.
"There will be no more extensions. It cannot continue forever. Let's wait until May 29 and we will then decide how to proceed," he said.
Ocean Infinity picked up in January looking for the doomed aircraft after the official search for the Boeing 777 by Australia, Malaysia, and China in the southern Indian Ocean was called off last year.
The plane vanished March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board. No transmissions were received from the aircraft after its first 38 minutes in the air, and officials believe the plane crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.
The deal signed by the Malaysian government will pay Ocean Infinity up to $70 million based on the size of the area searched if the mission is successful within three months. Officials have said there was an 85 percent chance of finding the debris in a new 9,650-suqare-mile search area identified by experts.
The official search was extremely difficult because no transmissions were received from the aircraft after its first 38 minutes of flight. Systems designed to automatically transmit the flight's position failed to work, according to a final report issued by the Australian Transport Safety Board in January 2017.
Most recently, aviation experts have said that the captain of the doomed plane selected a route that would effectively render the plane invisible on radar in order to commit suicide.
The suspicion that MH370 Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah was attempting suicide was agreed upon, aviation experts said in a panel discussion on 9 News Australia.
"He was killing himself; unfortunately, he was killing everybody else on board, and he did it deliberately," Larry Vance, a former senior investigator with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, said.
Voice 370, which represents families of those aboard the flight, urged the Malaysian government to review all matters related to the jet's disappearance including "any possible falsification" or elimination of maintenance records and any omission that may have impaired tracking, search, rescue and recovery of the plane.
Loke said the new government, which took power after the May 9 elections, is committed to transparency and will release details for public scrutiny in due time.
"We also hope, like with other recent matters, Malaysia will be more open to sharing MH370 related information with other international governments, bodies, and agencies in order to allow a complete and through review to take place," the group said in a statement.
Fox News' Ryan Gaydos and The Associated Press contributed to this report.