KUALA LUMPUR, (March 30) — The search for a missing Malaysian airliner resumed on the 23rd day today, with the focus on an area of about 319,000 square kilometres based on a refined analysis by international air crash investigators.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said today it was planned for 10 aircraft to be involved in the search in an area about 1,850 kilometres west of Perth.
The agency also said all ships in the search area were being tasked to locate and identify the objects sighted by aircraft over the past two days.
“Weather in the search area is forecast to worsen today, with light showers and low cloud, though search operations are expected to continue,” it said in a statement.
The Malaysian Boeing 777-200 aircraft, with 239 people aboard, went missing about one hour into its Kuala Lumpur-Beijing flight on March 8.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced on March 24 that Flight MH370 had ended in a remote region of the southern Indian Ocean.
AMSA said the planes taking part in the search today were from Australia, Japan, China, South Korea, the United States and Malaysia as well as one civil jet acting as a communication relay.
Australia’s HMAS Success, the Chinese Maritime Safety Administration ship Haixun 01, China Rescue and Salvage Bureau ship Nan Hai Jiu and the Chinese navy vessel Jinggang Shan arrived in the search area Saturday.
“A further six ships should arrive in the area today,” the statement said.
The ANZAC class frigate HMAS Toowoomba left Perth yesterday evening and is due to arrive in the search area in about three days.
“The ADV Ocean Shield is scheduled to depart from Perth later today after being fitted with a black box detector and an autonomous underwater vehicle,” AMSA said.
Meanwhile, ABC News reported that former Australian Defence Force chief Angus Houston would take a leading role in coordinating the international search effort for the missing plane.
The retired air chief marshal would head a new joint agency coordination centre to be set up in Perth to coordinate the mammoth search already underway to find the missing jetliner, the report said.
His role will be to maintain clear lines of communication between all of the international partners as well as with the families of the passengers, many of whom are expected to travel to Australia as the search progresses. — BERNAMA