Relatives continue to fight for answers on one year anniversary of MH370

World Today

FILE – Airlines and regulators have spent the past year since the disappearance of Flight MH370 debating how much flight tracking is necessary, balancing the economic costs against reassuring passengers another plane won’t disappear. Now a plan is moving forward that would require airlines, by the end of 2016, to know their jets positions every 15 minutes. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, Pool)

With the first anniversary of the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 imminent, the passage of time has done little to ease the pain of the relatives of the 239 people on board whose fate remains unknown.

The parents of Wang Zheng are both missing – presumed dead – after vanishing on the ill-fated flight.

Wang tries to avoid visiting the modest apartment in central Nanjing where his father Wang Linshi and mother Xiong Deming lived for over 20 years.

When he does visit, he finds a place full of memories and overwhelming sadness, with his father’s paintings and family photos bringing tears to his eyes.

Like the other relatives of the 239 people who disappeared aboard the flight in the early hours of March 8, 2014, Wang has gone through an emotional roller coaster which has hurled him through grief and hope and guilt and anger over the past year.

Without any concrete sign of the plane recovered, he is far from reaching peace.

Wang’s grandfather, an 86-year-old retired English professor, has urged the Malaysian government to reveal any secrets involved in the flight’s disappearance.

But what troubles the family more is the helplessness they have felt during the past year.

“Why people don’t help us to find out the truth about MH370?” Xiong Yunming, Wang’s aunt, the younger sister to his mother, said. “We find it hard to understand that some government officials blamed us for making trouble. We didn’t make any trouble, we just simply want to find out the truth.”

Psychologist Paul Lin has been involved in helping Chinese families of MH370 passengers in Beijing since the flight went missing.

Lin said it is hard for the families to move on due to “a lack of concrete evidence for them” on the plane’s disappearance.

Wang and other family members have banded together on a desperate quest to find the plane. They are petitioning governments, poring over details of technical analyses, raising doubts, and demanding answers.

Despite the passage of time, they show no signs of giving up in their fight for answers and finding out what happened to their loved ones.

Australia, Indonesia, and Malaysia will lead a trial of an enhanced method of tracking aircraft over remote oceans. The technology would make it easier to find planes if they vanish from radar as Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 did, Australia’s transport minister said Sunday.

The announcement comes one week ahead of the anniversary of the disappearance of Flight 370 as it traveled from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing with 239 people on board. No trace of the plane has been found.

Airservices Australia, a government-owned agency that manages the country’s airspace, will work with its Malaysian and Indonesian counterparts to test the new method, which would enable planes to be tracked every 15 minutes, rather than the previous rate of 30-40 minutes, Australian Transport Minister Warren Truss said. The tracking would increase to 5 minutes or less if there is a deviation in the plane’s movements.

Story by the Associated Press