Search for missing MH370 resumes in new area
Updated: 2014-03-28 13:42
|Latest News||Search effort||Families' reaction||Timeline||Reporter's log|
|Infographic||Doubts||Airlines' statement||Photos||China's perspective|
A crew member aboard the Australian Navy ship, HMAS Success, can be seen through a window looking for debris in the southern Indian Ocean during the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in this picture released by the Australian Defence Force March 28, 2014. [Photo / Agencies]
PERTH/BEIJING - A multinational search for the missing Malaysian jetliner resumed Friday, one day after suspension due to bad weather, while the search area has been updated northeastward on newly-obtained credible lead.
Thailand reported Thursday a satellite sighting of hundreds of floating objects. Japanese satellite images on Wednesday showed around 10 floating objects in waters roughly 2,500 km southwest of Perth, Kyodo and Jiji news agencies said.
"As a result, today's search will shift to an area 1,100 kilometers to the northeast based on updated advice provided by the international investigation team in Malaysia," the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said in a statement.
The new search area is approximately 319,000 square km and around 1,850 km west of Perth, it added.
The new information is based on continuing analysis of radar data between the South China Sea and the Strait of Malacca before radar contact was lost.
"It indicated that the aircraft was traveling faster than previously estimated, resulting in increased fuel usage and reducing the possible distance the aircraft traveled south into the Indian Ocean," AMSA said.
"This is our best estimate of the area in which the aircraft is likely to have crashed into the ocean," said Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott believes that the new lead is credible and will be thoroughly investigated.
An AP-3C Orion aircraft passes over the Australian Navy ship the HMAS Success in the southern Indian Ocean during the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in this picture released by the Australian Defence Force March 28, 2014. [Photo / Agencies]
In addition, Abbott emphasized that leading experts from around the world are working to solve this baffling mystery.
"Civilian and military personnel from Australia, the United States, New Zealand, China, Japan and South Korea have been working round the clock in very difficult conditions. We should all be very proud of their efforts," he said.
Friday's air search over the southern Indian Ocean for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 started with nine military aircraft from six nations -- Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States, taking part.
The military aircraft scheduled to fly were two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orions, a South Korean P3 Orion and a C130 Hercules, a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion, a Chinese Ilyushin IL-76, a United States Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft, and a Japanese coast guard jet and a P3 Orion, according to AMSA.
One civil aircraft would act as a communications relay in the search area.
The first aircraft to leave Perth for the search area was the Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft at about 9 am local time (0100 GMT).
"There are now six vessels relocating to the new search area including HMAS Success and five Chinese ships," AMSA's update said later Friday morning.
US 7th Fleet is sending a second P8 Poseidon patrol aircraft to Perth to help in the search efforts for the missing jet, U.S. Navy said Thursday.
The P8 will fly from Okinawa, Japan, to Perth on Friday to join the international coalition of search aircraft being coordinated by the Australian Defense Force.
MH370 mysteriously vanished on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 carrying 239 people, including 154 Chinese.
Officials believe someone on board the Boeing 777-200 may have shut off the plane's communications systems before flying it thousands of miles off course.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Monday that evidence showed the flight MH370 had "ended" in the southern Indian Ocean.