Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Wreckage could be found within a week as search reaches 'very critical juncture', says minister
Search of narrowed 10 km (6.2 mile) area by underwater drone will be completed over coming days, Australian officials have said
The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight is at “a very critical juncture”, with the area officials believe the wreckage could be in narrowing significantly over the next two days, Malaysia’s acting transport minister has said.
The search of a tight 10 km (6.2 mile) circle of the sea floor by a US Navy underwater drone could be completed within a week, Australian search officials said on Saturday.
The area has been determined based on underwater pings believed to be from the plane's black box recorders, meaning if analysis has been correct and the signal’s were coming from the boxes, remnants from the doomed flight should be located.
The almost two month long search for the plane after it disappeared from radars on 8 March has so far brought no sign of wreckage, and officials have little answer as to what happened in the final hours of the flight.
“Provided the weather is favourable for launch and recovery of the AUV and we have a good run with the serviceability of the AUV, we should complete the search of the focused underwater area in five to seven days,” the Joint Agency Coordination Centre told Reuters in an email.
Officials did not indicate whether they were confident that this search area would yield any new information about the flight, nor did they state what steps they would take in the event that the underwater search were to prove fruitless.
“It is important to focus on today and tomorrow. Narrowing of the search area today and tomorrow is at a very critical juncture,” Malaysian Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told a media conference in Kuala Lumpur, asking for people to pray for success.
Malaysia was asking oil companies and others in the commercial sector to provide assets that might help in the search, Mr Hishammuddin added, after earlier saying more AUVs might be used.
After almost two weeks without picking up any acoustic signals, and long past the black box battery's 30-day life expectancy, authorities are increasingly reliant on the unmanned Bluefin-21 drone, which on Saturday was expected to have dived to unprecedented depths that could risk the equipment.
Because visual searches of the ocean surface have yielded no concrete evidence, the drone, with its ability to search deep beneath the ocean surface with “side scan” sonar, has become the focal point of the search 1,200 miles northwest of the Australian city of Perth.
But hopes that it might soon guide searchers to wreckage are dwindling with no sign of the plane after six deployments spanning 83 square miles. Footage from the drone's sixth mission was still being analysed, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre said on Saturday.
Additional reporting from Reuters
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
- 3 Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...