Search For Missing Airliner Intensifies Following New Leads

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PERTH, April 8 – The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) airliner, which entered the 32nd day today, has been intensified with the deployment of eleven military planes, three civil planes and 14 ships in the southern Indian Ocean following new leads. Yesterday, the Australian Defence Vessel (ADV), Ocean Shield detected another two acoustic sounds of pulse signal while searching in the southern Indian Ocean after it picked up the same signal on Sunday, while a Chinese ship, Haixun 01, heard two of it on Friday and Saturday. The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), in a statement, said that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) had directed the assets to focus on the search area of about 77,580 square km, 2,268 km north west of Perth.

“Good weather is expected throughout the day. The underwater search continues today, with the ADV Ocean Shield at the northern end of the search area, and the Chinese ship, Haixun 01 and HMS Echo at the southern end,” said the Agency. Flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, left the KL International Airport at 12.41 am on March 8 and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later, while over the South China Sea. It was to have arrived in Beijing at 6.30 am on the same day. A multinational search was mounted for the aircraft, first in the South China Sea and then, after it was learnt that the plane had veered off course, along two corridors – the northern corridor stretching from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, and the southern corridor, from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.

Following an unprecedented type of analysis of satellite data, United Kingdom satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) concluded that Flight MH370 flew along the southern corridor and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth. Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak then announced on March 24, seventeen days after the disappearance of the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, that Flight MH370 “ended in the southern Indian Ocean”.

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