Flight 370: Search area expanded off Perth

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Visitors write on a banner carrying messages for the passengers of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur
Visitors write on a banner carrying messages for the passengers of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur

Australian rescue officials have broadened the search area for missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flight MH370 and boosted the number of spotter planes looking for it in the Indian Ocean, with weather conditions favourable.

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The third day of the Aussie-led search is focusing on an area of wild and remote sea almost 2,500 kilometres south-west of Perth.

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss says something floating on the sea that long ago may now have gone down to the bottom.

“It’s also certain that any debris or other materials would have moved a significant distance over that time. Potentially hundreds of kilometres.”

Warren Truss says two planes from China will join in the hunt today with another two from Japan arriving tomorrow.

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“We’re grateful for the assistance that’s being provided. It’s a substantial search area.

“It’s a difficult area to reach, and so having these extra assets will be important.”

But northerly winds and light rain could prove to be a challenge for the New Zealand Air Force Orion crew who are helping search for the missing jet.

Air Component Commander at Joint Forces New Zealand, Air Commodore Mike Yardley, says the weather conditions are not desirable.

“The cloud-base is about 1,000 feet, so that’s improved from our flight on Thursday.

“However the visibility is still only 10 to 15 kilometres.”

Mike Yardley says it is worrying that nothing has been found in the five days they’ve been searching.

“Of course, as each day passes the likelihood does potentially reduce.

“However if there is debris floating on the surface and we’re put in the right position then there is every chance that we’ll find it.”

 

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