SYDNEY, April 25 ― Investigators hunting for the missing Malaysian Air plane are set to widen their search area after 13 missions by a submarine failed to find any debris.
The Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle will scour regions adjacent to the 10-kilometre (6.2-mile) radius it was searching in the Indian Ocean if “no contacts of interest” are found, Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre said in an e-mailed statement today. The submarine has completed about 95 per cent of the area it was combing.
“We are currently consulting very closely with our international partners on the best way to continue the search into the future,” the JACC said in the statement.
Widening the seabed area will be the next phase in the search for the Malaysian Airline System Bhd. plane that vanished March 8 with 239 people on board on a routine flight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. At 49 days, the effort to find Flight 370 is the longest search for a missing passenger jet in modern aviation history.