MH370: Missing Malaysia Airlines flight sea bed search will shift hundreds of miles south

Teams have returned to existing satellite data to map out a new search area

The next phase of the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will focus on an area of the Indian Ocean hundreds miles south of the first suspected crash site, it has emerged.

Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, said an announcement would be made next week on exactly where a 23,000 square-mile search of the ocean floor for wreckage, using powerful sonar equipment, will be focused.

The jetliner disappeared with 239 passengers and crew on board after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, bound for Beijing, on March 8. No trace of the Boeing 777 has ever been found.

The new search site will be south of where a remote-controlled underwater drone scoured the sea bed, where acoustic signals suspected to have come from the plane's black boxes were thought to have emanated.

Experts have since concluded that the 'pings' being heard must be coming from another unrelated source, and have focused on analysing the initial satellite data to determine a new search area.

“All the trends of this analysis will move the search area south of where it was,” Mr Dolan said. “Just how much south is something that we’re still working on.”

The hunt for the plane has become the most expensive and extensive aviation search effort in history.

Read more: Malaysia Airlines reports £82m losses

Earlier this week UK based firm Inmarsat told the BBC it had identified a potential "hotspot"  as to where the plane may have crashed in an area southwest of the most recent underwater search region.

On Monday, relatives of those still missing mark 100 days since the flight's disappearance by visiting a Buddhist temple in Beijing to pray for their return.

The Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak also paid tribute to those still missing, with the tweet: “On this hundredth day since #MH370 went missing, remembering those on-board & their families. Malaysia remains committed to the search effort.”

Families of the missing passengers and crew have also just starting receiving initial $50,000 compensation payouts from the airline's insurer.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
Super BowlAfter Katy Perry madness it's back to The Independent's live coverage of Super Bowl 49!
News
See what Twitter had to say about the first half of the Super Bowl
News
people
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher A specialist primary school i...

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

The super-rich now live in their own Elysium - they breathe better air, and eat better food, when they're not making beans on toast for their kids

The super-rich now live in their own Elysium

They breathe better air, eat better food, take better medicine
A generation of dropouts failed by colleges

Dropout generation failed by colleges

£800m a year wasted on students who quit courses before they graduate
Entering civilian life 'can be like going into the jungle' for returning soldiers

Homeless Veterans appeal

Entering civilian life can be like going into the jungle
Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Fifty Shades of Grey director on bringing the hit to the screen
Shazam! Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

Shazam: Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch