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Malaysia, Flight 370 relatives talk financial help



PERTH, Australia (AP) - A Malaysian official met Sunday with relatives of passengers who were aboard the missing jetliner and discussed ways of providing them with financial assistance, as an unmanned submarine continued to search for any signs of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Hamzah Zainuddin met with the passengers' relatives in Kuala Lumpur to talk about where to go next. Financial assistance was discussed and family members were urged to submit a plan for consideration. He declined to elaborate further, but said a fund could possibly be set up by the government or Malaysia Airlines.

"We realize this is an excruciating time for the families of those on board," said Zainuddin, who heads a committee overseeing the needs of the next of kin. "No words can describe the pain they must be going through. We understand the desperate need for information on behalf of the families and those watching around the world."

He added that he would soon visit Beijing to shore up bilateral relations between Malaysia and China. Two-thirds of the missing plane's 227 passengers were Chinese, and many of their family members have been angered by Malaysia's handling of the investigation, with some accusing the government of lying, incompetence or participating in an outright cover-up.

After nearly a week of sweeping the bottom of the ocean with sonar, the unmanned sub began its eighth mission on Sunday. The yellow device has already covered about half of its focused search area, but has yet to uncover any clues that could shed light on the mysterious disappearance of the plane more than six weeks ago.

The U.S. Navy's Bluefin 21 has journeyed beyond its recommended depth of 4 1/2 kilometers (2.8 miles) to comb the silt-covered seabed off the coast of western Australia. Its search area forms a 10-kilometer (6-mile) radius around the location of an underwater signal that was believed to have come from the aircraft's black boxes. The search center said the sonar scan of the seafloor in that area was expected to be completed sometime next week.

On Saturday, Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein stressed the importance of the weekend submarine missions in the southern Indian Ocean, but stressed that even if no debris is recovered, the scope of the search may be broadened or other assets may be used.

Meanwhile on Sunday, up to 11 aircraft and 12 ships continued to scan the ocean surface for debris from the Boeing 777, which disappeared March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Radar and satellite data show the jet mysteriously veered far off course for unknown reasons and would have run out of fuel in the remote section of the southern Indian Ocean where the search has been focused. Not one piece of debris has been recovered since the massive multinational hunt began.

There have been numerous leads, but all have turned out to be false. The most promising development came when four underwater signals were detected April 5 and 8. The sounds were consistent with pings that would have been emanating from the plane's flight data and cockpit recorders' beacons before their batteries died.

The underwater operation is being complicated by the depth of the largely unexplored silt-covered sea floor. The unmanned submarine has gone beyond its recommended depth, according to the U.S. 7th Fleet. That could risk the equipment, but it is being closely monitored.

The search coordination center has said the hunt for floating debris on the surface will continue for at least the next few days, even though the Australian head of the search effort, Angus Houston, had earlier said it was expected to end sooner.

On Sunday, the visual surface search was to cover an estimated 48,507 square kilometers (18,729 square miles) of sea.

Malaysia: This Weekend Is Vital for Missing Plane's Search

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Steve-a-rino April 20 2014 at 8:37 AM

It always comes down to money. How much to assuage your grief and suffering? Like Exxon, BP and all the rest, a big enough check will take care of it.

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2 replies
amosesjr Steve-a-rino April 20 2014 at 9:28 AM

Sickening........sad..........but true Steve. Even more sickening........the lawyers will end up with the lion's share even though they lost nothing.

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Karl Steve-a-rino April 20 2014 at 3:19 PM

So, besides money steve.. what do you suggest?

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heyjude April 20 2014 at 8:39 PM

I do think this plane may have been overtaken, by who, I have no idea. I'm afraid the passengers are long gong unless they are being held for some evil purpose in the future. There may be those passengers/crew left who were involved to begin with. The black boxes may be in the southern Indian Ocean, but don't bet on the plane being there...

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hman570 April 20 2014 at 11:23 AM

Now it comes down to the facts here. MONEY this is what it comes to to those who lost someone on that ill fated flight. I guess that money fixes all problems living or dead.

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jpepoon April 20 2014 at 6:40 PM

My sympathies are definitely with the families. No amount of money can replace their lost love ones but estimated loss of victim estimated monetary production is about the only way societies have found to evaluate a loss in human tragedies such as this. I definitely would like to see some tangible proof of the aircraft/passengers, but maybe because of the hugh area involved that isn't possible in this case. The sooner this tragedy is resolved to mutual satisfaction the better for all concerned.

Jim

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Mike April 20 2014 at 11:37 AM

Money will make things all better.

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1 reply
azeka3 Mike April 20 2014 at 12:10 PM

No way Mike there are those that think so.

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liondog96 April 20 2014 at 11:48 AM

Money is the real heart out there. Wrongful death suits to life insurance. Money, money, money.

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cvanac8550 April 20 2014 at 11:50 AM

Sad this entire incident for all those who disapeared and the families with no ending ...
a. I'm waiting for the commerative coins to be hawked on the TV.....
b. This story will slowly fade from the media and the truth will/may never be told.
c. what ever happened to Mr. Ali
d. What about the two former navy seals found "dead" on the island of Seychelles in the Indian Ocean one month before the plane went missing.
e. why did the mining engineer give his wife his cherished posessions before embarking.
f. Two phoney passports and the wag the dog story about why they were on the plane.
g. Chinese techs with the pattents
h. the drone command and control conspiracy story......
I. The media never investigated any of these issues ...just fed us what they were being told by those in charge

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betsyvv April 20 2014 at 1:03 PM

Why is any country or Malaysia responsible for giving anyone any money? The country had no fault in the incident (or, if it did, you have to prove it). Why do people think they're entitled to money? I never understood why the US decided they could take my money and give it to the families of the 9/11 victims. Where in the Constitution does it say you can take my money to appease others? Show me where the US was at fault for the attack. Did families of Pearl Harbor victims get money? No. How about families of the Marines in Lebanon terror attack? Did they get any money? No. What is going on here?

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3 replies
al12exb April 20 2014 at 1:32 PM

HOW DO YOU PUT A PRICE ON A LOST LIFE?

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1 reply
roseyoungstewart al12exb April 20 2014 at 3:11 PM

no need to sue for money. just ask that food be given to the homeless and the needy. or ask that all kid cancer patients get to go home once in a while. not hard to do is it? no need to take money.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Ron April 20 2014 at 8:55 PM

Um, a Muslim pilot, 2 with fake passports, shutting off transponders, not a trace of anything floating? Very fishy! The plane was probably taken to Iran.

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