Search for Malaysia Airlines jet shifts south

SYDNEY, (Reuters) – The hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 will shift further south in the Indian Ocean, Australian authorities said today, ushering in yet another new phase of the long, costly and so far fruitless search.

The Boeing 777, carrying 239 passengers and crew, disappeared on March 8 shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing.

Investigators say what little evidence they have to work with suggests the aeroplane was deliberately diverted thousands of kilometres from its scheduled route before eventually plunging into the Indian Ocean.

The search was narrowed in April after a series of acoustic pings thought to be from the plane’s black box recorders were heard along a final arc where analysis of satellite data put its last location.

But a month later, officials conceded the wreckage was not in that concentrated area, some 1,600 km (1,000 miles) off the northwest coast of Australia, and the search area would have to be expanded.

“The new priority area is still focused on the seventh arc, where the aircraft last communicated with satellite. We are now shifting our attention to an area further south along the arc,” Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said.

Truss said the new priority search area was determined after a review of satellite data and early radar information as the plane suddenly diverted across the Malaysian peninsular and headed south into one of the remotest areas of the planet.

“It is highly, highly likely that the aircraft was on autopilot otherwise it could not have followed the orderly path that has been identified through the satellite sightings,” Truss told reporters in Canberra.

Two vessels, one Chinese and one from Dutch engineering company Fugro are currently mapping the seafloor along the arc, where depths exceed 5,000 metres in parts.

The next phase of the search mission is expected to start in August and take a year, covering some 60,000 sq kilometres of ocean at a cost of A$60 million ($56 million) or more. The search is already the most expensive in aviation history. ($1 = 1.0639 Australian Dollars)

Latest in World News

Mario Draghi

EU leaders tell Britain to exit swiftly, markets steadier

LONDON/BRUSSELS, (Reuters) – European leaders told Britain yesterday to act quickly to resolve the political and economic confusion unleashed by its vote to leave the European Union last week, after the IMF said the uncertainty could put pressure on global economic growth.

default placeholder

Suspected Islamic State suicide bombers kill 36 at Istanbul airport

ISTANBUL, (Reuters) – Three suicide bombers opened fire then blew themselves up in Istanbul’s main international airport yesterday, killing 36 people and wounding close to 150 in what Turkey’s prime minister said appeared to have been an attack by Islamic State militants.

default placeholder

Libya wealth fund boss screamed, cursed at Goldman bankers -witness

LONDON, (Reuters) – The Libyan wealth fund’s former deputy chief screamed and cursed at Goldman Sachs bankers in a stormy meeting over derivatives trades made on the bank’s advice that ultimately turned out to be worthless, a witness told a court yesterday.

default placeholder

Toyota recalling 1.43 million hybrids worldwide for air bag issue

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp said late yesterday it is recalling 1.43 million hybrid Prius and Lexus CT200h cars worldwide because of a possible airbag inflator defect.

George Osborne

Brexit vote, UK political confusion rattles world markets for second day

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s vote last Thursday to leave the European Union continued to reverberate through financial markets yesterday, with the pound falling to its lowest level in 31 years, despite government attempts to relieve some of the confusion about the political and economic outlook.

default placeholder

Turkey mends fences with Israel, Russia in foreign policy reset

ISTANBUL/MOSCOW/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Turkey announced the restoration of diplomatic ties with Israel yesterday after a six-year rupture and expressed regret to Russia over the downing of a warplane, seeking to mend strained alliances and ease a sense of isolation on the world stage.

default placeholder

Kerry raises harassment of US diplomats in Moscow with Putin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russian harassment and surveillance of US diplomats in Moscow has increased significantly and US Secretary of State John Kerry raised the issue recently with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the State Department said yesterday.

Boris Johnson

British EU vote unnerves world leaders and markets

LONDON,  (Reuters) – Britain plunged deeper into political crisis yesterday after its vote to exit the European Union last Thursday, leaving world officials and financial markets confused about how to handle the political and economic fallout.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: