News / Asia

Malaysian Plane Search Shifts to New Area

An Australian Air Force C-17 taxis at the RAAF Base Pearce near Perth, March 28, 2014. The C-17 delivered an Australian Navy SeaHawk helicopter which will be used in the search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean.
An Australian Air Force C-17 taxis at the RAAF Base Pearce near Perth, March 28, 2014. The C-17 delivered an Australian Navy SeaHawk helicopter which will be used in the search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean.
Ron Corben
Nearly three weeks after the ill-fated Malaysian jet, MH370, disappeared off radar, Australian authorities say new analysis of in flight satellite data has led them to move the search area some 1,100 kilometers to the northeast in the Indian Ocean.  Australian search planes have spotted objects in area.
 
Australian authorities say the international team analyzing the data sent by the Boeing 777 in mid flight found that the plane was traveling faster than previously estimated and so likely ran out of fuel sooner.
 
As a result, authorities decided to abandon the area that planes and ships had been methodically searching for days.

“The Australian authorities have indicated that they have shifted the search area approximately 1,100 kilometers to the northeast," Malaysian Defense Minister Hishamuddin Hussein told reporters in Kuala Lumpur. "Because of ocean drift, this new search area could still be consistent with the potential objects identified by various satellites images over the past week.”
 
Debris spotted
 
In this Thaichote satellite taken on March 24, 2014 (released March 27, 2014) a part of about 300 objects floating in the Indian Ocean near the search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner are shown.In this Thaichote satellite taken on March 24, 2014 (released March 27, 2014) a part of about 300 objects floating in the Indian Ocean near the search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner are shown.
x
In this Thaichote satellite taken on March 24, 2014 (released March 27, 2014) a part of about 300 objects floating in the Indian Ocean near the search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner are shown.
In this Thaichote satellite taken on March 24, 2014 (released March 27, 2014) a part of about 300 objects floating in the Indian Ocean near the search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner are shown.
Several satellites have spotted debris floating on the open ocean that may have been from the flight, but so far searchers have not recovered any physical evidence of the plane.
 
Martin Dolan, Chief Commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, said while the new information represents a "credible lead” in the search for the missing aircraft, he remains cautious.  
 
"The information provided by the international investigative team is the most credible lead we currently have in the search for aircraft wreckage. However, this information needs to be continually adjusted for the length of time elapsed as the aircraft went missing and the likely drift of any wreckage floating on the ocean surface," Dolan said.
 
Mysterious disappearance

It is still unknown why the Boeing 777 aircraft, on a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, with 239 passengers and crew on-board, veered west after its flight transponder stopped transmitting.
 

Watch Related Story: Maryland Firm Assists in Black Box Search

x
Maryland Company Sends Locator to Plane Searchi
X
March 28, 2014 2:24 AM
Experts say no one will really know what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 until the black box - the flight recorder - is retrieved. Time is running out because that flight recorder only emits an audible signal - a ping - for 30 days. The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its “pinger locators” to the Indian Ocean. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti reports.

Watch Related Story: Maryland Firm Assists in Black Box Search

The new analysis places a possible crash site in a region of some 319,000 square kilometers. The location is closer to Perth, where search planes are based, meaning they should be able to spend more time combing the search area instead of traveling to and from it.
 
John Young, a manager with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, says the new area will hopefully have better weather conditions. 
 
"I'm not sure that we'll get perfect weather out there but it's likely to be better more often than we have seen in the past and we see what that does in terms of satellite imagery when the re-tasking of satellites starts to produce new material," Young said.

Australia's Geospatial-Intelligence Organization (AGO) is to re-task satellites to capture images of the new area.
 
After search efforts were hampered by poor weather a day earlier, 10 aircraft from Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and the United States were covering the new region on Friday.
 
  • 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.

Vessels from several of the search nations' navies have also been scouring the seas in the hope of uncovering identifiable debris.
 
x
Payouts begin
 
Although no wreckage has yet been found, echoing comments from Malaysia that the plane had definitely crashed and there was no hope of survivors being found, Chinese insurance companies started to pay compensation to the families of passengers aboard the plane.
          
China Life, the country's largest insurance company, has provided the families of seven passengers with a total compensation of 4.17 million yuan ($671,600), Chen Honghao, an official from China Life's department of planning, told Reuters by telephone on Friday.
          
Other insurers, including China Pacific, Sunshine Insurance and New China Life have also begun to pay out claims, representative from those companies confirmed.    

Some information in this report contributed by Reuters.
Error rendering storify.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened 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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid