This file picture taken on March 8, 2016 shows a man walking in front of a mural of missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane in a back-alley in Shah Alam. AFP / MANAN VATSYAYANA
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The nearly three-year search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 ended Tuesday, possibly forever – not because investigators have run out of leads, but because the countries involved in the expensive and vast deep-sea hunt have shown no appetite for opening another phase. Late last year, as ships with high-tech search equipment covered the last strips of the 120,000-square kilometer search zone, experts concluded they should have been searching a smaller area immediately to the north.Last year, Australia, Malaysia and China, which have each helped fund the search, agreed that the hunt would be suspended once the search zone was exhausted unless new evidence emerges that pinpoints the plane's specific location.In December, the transport bureau announced that a review of the data used to estimate where the plane crashed, coupled with new information on ocean currents, strongly suggested that the plane hit the water in an area directly north of the search zone.Officials investigating the plane's disappearance recommended that search crews head north to a new 25,000-square-kilometer area identified in a recent analysis as where the plane most likely crashed.
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