No sign of missing Malaysian plane as search enters third week
Kuala Lumpur: Multinational rescue teams were scouring remote seas in the Indian Ocean to trace the missing Malaysian plane carrying 239 people on board, as the desperate search for the jet entered its third week today.
Several Australian military jets, as well as two long- range commercial jets, resumed their search this morning to find any trace of the objects seen floating in satellite imagery nearly 2,500 kilometres southwest of Perth.
Additional vessels supplied by China, Japan and the United Kingdom are due to join them in the search.
Five surveillance aircraft and a ship deployed to trace the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 yesterday scoured the area but found nothing, dashing hopes of a breakthrough in locating the aircraft which mysteriously disappeared two weeks ago.
“It’s about the most inaccessible spot that you can imagine on the face of the Earth, but if there is anything down there, we will find it,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said yesterday.
Search teams involving 26 countries are still trying to locate flight MH370, which went missing an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on March 8 with 239 people on board, including five Indians and one Indian-Canadian.
The mystery of the missing plane continued to baffle aviation and security authorities who have so far not succeeded in tracking the aircraft despite deploying hi-tech radar and other gadgets.
Meanwhile, in a phone call to US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Malaysia’s Defence Minister and acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein “requested that the US consider providing some undersea surveillance equipment”.
“Hagel assured Hishammuddin that he would assess the availability and utility of military undersea technology for such a task and provide him an update in the very near future,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said.
Officials did not say precisely what equipment the Pentagon might provide but the US military has invested heavily in undersea surveillance.
Hishammuddin thanked the 20 or so countries involved in the search and said they were facing a “long haul”.
The US, which has had a P-8 aircraft working out of Perth, Australia, and Navy ships involved in the search, has so far spent USD 2.5 million on the entire effort, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steven Warren said yesterday.