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Flight MH370 families urge Mauritians to be on alert for debris

By Reuters | Updated Wed, December 14th 2016 at 17:09 GMT +3
Volunteers of the "3 E" (Eastern Environnement and Economy) search for more potential plane debris and items on the shore in Saint-Andre, Reunion Island, on July 31, 2015. (Photo: AFP)

Port Louis: Relatives of victims of a Malaysian Airlines flight that vanished in 2014 urged the people of Mauritius on Wednesday to be on lookout for plane debris that might wash ashore in the Indian Ocean island state and hand in anything to authorities.

Flight MH370, carrying 239 passengers and crew, disappeared on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, sparking an international search in the southern Indian Ocean that continues Wednesday.

"We hope more people will find more debris which could help to determine the location of the wreckage," Hui Jiang, who lost his mother on the plane, told a news conference in the Mauritian capital Port Louis.

Jiang and five others were visiting Mauritius this week as part of a regional tour by relatives of the missing passengers to help raise alertness to plane wreckage that might turn up in the area.

"We don't know how many pieces are out there and lost forever because people are not aware," said Grace Nathan, whose mother was on the doomed flight.

A total of 33 pieces suspected to be from the plane have been found so far, including parts of the wings and tail, on the shores of Mauritius, the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion, Mozambique, Tanzania and South Africa.

Families have accused Malaysian-led investigators of focusing too much on the deep-sea search for wreckage off the coast of Australia.