Search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 intensifying

The search zone for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is now focused on a 77,580-square kilometer region in the Indian Ocean. An underwater search is underway at the zone's northern and southern areas.
By JC Finley  |  April 8, 2014 at 11:22 AM
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PERTH, Australia, April 8 (UPI) -- The Australian Maritime Safety Authority directed Tuesday's search efforts for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 to focus on one large area north west of Perth.

11 military planes, three civilian aircraft, and 14 ships combed a 77,580-square kilometer area of the Indian Ocean for signs of debris from the plane that disappeared one month ago while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Tuesday's underwater search was undertaken by the Australian defense vessel Ocean Shield searching the northern end of the search zone and Chinese patrol ship Haixun 101 and Australian Royal Navy HMS Echo searching the southern end.

International search efforts intensified after pings possibly associated with Malaysia Airlines Flight 370's locator beacon were detected over the weekend. With concerns that the beacon's battery life 32 days into the search is weakening or expired, Australian Defense Minister David Johnston told reporters Tuesday: "We have at least several days of intense actions ahead of us ... We're throwing everything at this difficult, complex task."

[Joint Agency Coordination Center] [CNN]

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