News National MH370 search zone broadened

MH370 search zone broadened

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The search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight has been expanded after the Bluefin-21 underwater drone found no trace of the passenger jet.

The automated underwater vehicle (AUV) has completed sidescan sonar work in a narrowed-down circular zone 10km in radius, 1584km north west of Perth, which centred on an acoustic ping detected on April 8.

Other man-made acoustic signals were picked up in the vicinity on April 5.

Now on its 15th mission, the Bluefin-21 is combing adjacent areas, the Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre said in a statement on Sunday.

Due to deteriorating weather conditions, the air and surface search for floating debris has been suspended for the day.

On Friday, the AUV was forced to resurface after a software issue that required re-setting.

Last week, Malaysia’s Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said more sophisticated and expensive technology would be needed if the Bluefin-21 came up with nothing.

The next phase of the search would require probably submersibles that would be very, very expensive and probably more Bluefin-21s, he said. MH370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 with 239 people on board.