News / Asia

Malaysia Jet Search Area Narrows

In this April 9, 2014 photo provided by the Australian Defense Force, a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion flies past Australian Defense vessel Ocean Shield on a mission to drop sonar buoys to assist in the acoustic search of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.
In this April 9, 2014 photo provided by the Australian Defense Force, a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion flies past Australian Defense vessel Ocean Shield on a mission to drop sonar buoys to assist in the acoustic search of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.
The search area for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was further narrowed on Wednesday. That came as authorities confirmed that a vessel in the Indian Ocean had detected two more pings believed to be from the missing passenger jet's black boxes.
 
Officials are expressing more confidence that remnants of the Boeing 777 believed to be at the bottom of the southern Indian Ocean will be located.
 
A U.S. Navy device being towed by an Australian naval ship detected additional transmissions on Tuesday, after another pair of signals were captured days earlier.
 
The chief of the multi-national search coordination center in Perth, Australia, Angus Houston said, however, that it is still premature to declare that the plane’s location has been discovered.
 
"I believe we are searching in the right area but we need to visually identify aircraft wreckage before we can confirm with certainty that this is the final resting place of MH370," said Houston.
 
The search has now been narrowed to 75,000 square kilometers, an area nearly the size of the Czech Republic.
 
Officials on Wednesday announced that the earlier pings detected by the American towed pinger locator attached to the Ocean Shield vessel did not originate from "natural sources" and are consistent with those from flight data and cockpit voice recorders.
 
A top Australian military officer said a thick layer of silt on the seafloor could be muffling the black box transmissions, posing a further challenge to locating the wreckage at a depth few submarines would be able to reach.
 
Before it is feasible to deploy any unmanned underwater vehicles, authorities said, searchers really need to narrow the source of the sonar pings to within a few hundred meters. That is making the search a race against time as the batteries in the black boxes are already past their expected 30-day life.
 
The expensive search, which government officials in Australia and other countries acknowledge is costing millions of dollars per day, is turning into one of the most comprehensive such undertakings in history.
 
An attempt to retrieve parts of the plane and any human remains on the seabed some 4,500 meters deep would be an even more complex and expensive operation. It took nearly two years to recover the black boxes from the Air France jet that crashed in the Atlantic Ocean in 2009. Those flight recorders were found at a depth of nearly 4000 meters. 
 
The flight from Kuala Lumpur on March 8 went off course from its route to Beijing and vanished, prompting an extensive search in what initially turned out to be the wrong areas. 
 
Most of the 239 people aboard the plane were Chinese.
 
  • A relative of Chinese passengers aboard Flight MH370 takes a nap against the wall displaying messages of wishes for the passengers during a briefing held by Malaysia officials at a hotel in Beijing, April 11, 2014.
  • A woman, the daughter of a Chinese passenger on Flight MH370 shows her mobile phone displaying a photo of her father near the wall displaying messages of wishes for the passengers at a hotel in Beijing, April 11, 2014.
  • A woman ties a message card for passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 at a shopping mall in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 10, 2014.
  • Spectators take photos of a Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft as it comes in for a landing at Perth International Airport after returning from the ongoing search operations for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Perth, Australia, April 10, 2014.
  • A man places a candle on top of a white board set up to place messages for passengers on Flight MH370 during a candlelight vigil in Kuala Lumpur, April 6, 2014.
  • People place candles on a banner reading, "Pray for MH370" after a special prayer for passengers onboard the missing plane at the Malaysian Chinese Association headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, April 6, 2014.
  • A U.S. Navy towed pinger locator is pictured on a dock at HMAS Stirling naval base near Perth.
  • Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01 is pictured during a search for Flight MH370, in the south Indian Ocean, April 5, 2014. (CNS photo)
  • The Bluefin 21, an Artemis autonomous underwater vehicle, is hoisted back on board the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield after a successful buoyancy test in the southern Indian Ocean, April 4, 2014.
  • A flight lieutenant monitors a TAC station onboard a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion during search operations for Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean, April 4, 2014.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More