Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Missing Jetliner’s Wreckage Claims Dismissed By Australia; Search Enters New Phase

 @suman09
on April 30 2014 1:32 AM
hunt for MH370
International and Australian air crews involved in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines plane MH370, prepare for an official photograph on the tarmac at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Pearce Base in Bullsbrook, near Perth April 29, 2014. Reuters/Richard Polden

Australian search coordinators for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 dismissed claims on Wednesday made earlier by an Australian company, GeoResonance, that it has found what it believed was the wreckage of the missing plane in the Bay of Bengal.

The Joint Agency Coordination Centre, or JACC, reportedly said that it continued to believe that the plane came down in the southern Indian Ocean off Australia's western coast, while the Adelaide-based marine survey company mentioned the location of the wreckage to be off the east coast of India, and several thousand miles away from the current search area.

"The Australian-led search is relying on information from satellite and other data to determine the missing aircraft's location," JACC told CNN. "The location specified by the GeoResonance report is not within the search arc derived from this data. The joint international team is satisfied that the final resting place of the missing aircraft is in the southerly portion of the search arc."

Inmarsat, a British satellite telecommunications company whose satellite had the last known contact with the Malaysian airliner, is still "very confident" in its analysis that the plane ended up in the southern Indian Ocean, a source close to the investigation reportedly told CNN.

Malaysia's acting Transportation Minister Hishammuddin Hussein reportedly said: "In line with Malaysia's consistent stand of verifying and corroborating any new lead since Day 1 of the search operations, we are aware of a report citing the detection of potential aircraft wreckage in the Bay of Bengal," adding: "Malaysia is working with its international partners to assess the credibility of this information."

GeoResonance said in a statement that it is not certain that the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, which disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board shortly after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur, has been found, but called for its findings to be investigated.

Meanwhile, the search for the missing jetliner entered its new phase Wednesday and “will transition over the coming weeks to an intensified undersea search,” the JACC said, in a statement.

Bluefin-21, the robotic submarine, which has completed its search of a 120-square-mile area where signals were last picked up by pinger locators on April 8, will continue its search in adjacent areas. However, the U.S. Navy underwater craft's seventeenth mission will only commence after weather conditions in the area improve, allowing Bluefin-21 to launch safely from the Australian defense ship "Ocean Shield," the JACC said, adding that a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion will remain on standby in Perth.

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