News / Asia

Australia Vows to Continue Hunt for Malaysian Jet

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is guided around a Royal Australian Air Force P-3C Orion aircraft by Australian Air Force Group Commander Craig Heap, second from left, in Bullsbrook, near Perth, Australia,  March 31, 2014.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is guided around a Royal Australian Air Force P-3C Orion aircraft by Australian Air Force Group Commander Craig Heap, second from left, in Bullsbrook, near Perth, Australia, March 31, 2014.
Ron Corben
Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott, whose country is taking a lead role to find the missing Malaysian jet, says he has set no time limit on the search for the aircraft. Officials said debris spotted Sunday that was considered to be a promising lead, instead turned out to be fishing equipment.
 
In recent weeks, satellites and spotter planes have located hundreds of pieces of debris that investigators have hoped could be traced to flight MH370. But so far, they have not found any debris or objects from the missing plane.
 
On Monday, a flotilla of 11 ships, including seven from China, and 10 aircraft scoured a 254,000 square kilometer area of the Indian Ocean. The searchers reported several more objects identified as promising leads.
 
Despite the frustrations, Abbott said there was no immediate time limit on efforts to find the plane.
 
"I'm certainly not putting a time limit on [the search]," he said in Perth, Monday. "We owe it to the families, we owe it to everyone who travels by air, we owe it to the governments of the countries who had citizens on that aircraft, we owe it to the wider world which has been transfixed by this mystery for three weeks now, we owe it to everyone to do whatever we reasonably can and we can keep searching for quite some time to come."
 
Abbott said the intensity of the operations was increasing despite challenges and the magnitude of operations of what he termed "an extraordinarily difficult exercise."

Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Monday he is traveling to Hawaii this week to meet with the U.S. defense secretary to discuss the search effort. He will also speak with fellow ASEAN Defense Ministers while in Honolulu.

Malaysian authorities say they are working with Australia to create a new Joint Agency Coordination Center, headed by a retired Australian Air Chief Marshal, that will coordinate the international search effort out of Pearce Air force base in Perth, Australia.

A ship carrying a specialized black box locator is due to arrive in the search area on Thursday. Investigators hope that if they can get the device within range of the aircraft’s flight recorder, it will be able to detect its signal and searchers will be able to locate the main wreckage of the aircraft.
 
Twenty six nations are involved in the search for Malaysian flight MH370 that disappeared off radar on March 8 while bound for Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board. The majority of those on the plane - 154 - are Chinese nationals.
 
  • The Bluefin 21, the Artemis autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), is hoisted back on board the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield after a successful buoyancy test in the southern Indian Ocean as part of the continuing search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, April 4, 2014.
  • Flight Lieutenant Stephen Graham monitors a TAC station onboard a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion during search operations for wreckage and debris of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean, near the coast of Western Australia, April 4, 2014.
  • Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force Commander Hidetsugu Iwamasa speaks to the press in front of one of their P-3C Orion aircraft currently at RAAF Base Pearce near Perth, Australia, April 4, 2014.
  • Relatives of Chinese passengers on board the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 pray in a prayer room, Beijing, China, April 4, 2014.
  • Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak tour RAAF Base Pearce, near Perth, April 3, 2014.
  • Steve Wang a representative from the committee for relatives of Chinese passengers onboard Flight MH370 talks to journalists after a closed door meeting with Malaysian officials via teleconference in Beijing, April 2, 2014.
  • A crew member sits in the cockpit of a Royal New Zealand Air Force patrol aircraft as it continues searching in the southern Indian Ocean for Flight MH370, April 1, 2014.
  • Koji Kubota of the Japan Coast Guard keeps watch while flying in the search zone for debris from Flight MH370, April 1, 2014.
  • A Buddhist monk welcomes Chinese relatives of passengers on Flight MH370 as they arrive to pray at a Buddhist temple in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, March 31, 2014.
  • Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott addresses the international forces currently based in Perth searching for Flight MH370 during his visit to RAAF Base Pearce, March 31, 2014.

More flotsam

Dozens of items have been spotted since Australian authorities moved the search 1,100 km (685 miles) north after new analysis of radar and satellite data, but none has been linked to Flight MH370.

Several orange items recovered on Sunday turned out to be fishing equipment, a spokesman from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said.

"Yesterday's finds were nothing of note, nothing related to the plane," he said.

A multinational air search team and 10 ships, including seven Chinese vessels, two Australian navy craft and a merchant ship, were searching the area on Monday.

A Malaysian frigate arrived at HMAS Stirling naval base near Perth for briefings on the search area, AMSA added. The new search area, while closer to Perth and subject to
calmer weather, is also closer to an area of the Indian Ocean where currents drag all manner of flotsam and rubbish.

"I would say the search area is located just outside of what we call the garbage patches," Erik van Sebille, an oceanographer at the University of New South Wales said.

"However, there is much more debris there than in the Southern Ocean. Debris from Western Australia that ends up in the garbage patches will have to move through the search area."

But the greatest problem remains the vast search area, roughly the size of Poland or New Mexico.

"If you compare this to Air France Flight 447, we had much better positional information of where that aircraft went into the water," U.S. Navy Captain Mark Matthews said on Sunday, referring to a plane that crashed in 2009 near Brazil and which took more than two years to find.

Chinese family members still angry

Family members of the Chinese nationals on board the Boeing 777 have strongly protested Malaysia's handling of the situation.
 
In recent days, several Chinese family members travelled to Kuala Lumpur to press the Malaysian government, as well as aircraft maker Boeing and engine producer, Rolls Royce, for more information.
 
But on Monday, the state-backed China Daily published a commentary that appeared to soften the official tone, saying people should "not let anger prevail" and for families to accept the tragedy. The newspaper said all that can be done is to continue the search for the wreckage.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid