BEIJING, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese search forces had scoured 51,197 square kilometers of surface waters as of 6 p.m. Thursday for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, but no suspected floating objects have been found, authorities said on Friday.
Eight Chinese vessels in operation have also searched more than 3,000 square kilometers of waters underneath the surface, however no suspected debris was discovered, according to an update from the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center.
Center chief He Jianzhong said that China will continue to expand its search area on Friday. Meanwhile, forces will continue to mobilize Chinese merchant ships to search in designated areas in the Strait of Malacca, said He, who is also vice minister of transport.
On Friday morning, experts and officials from China's multiple government departments as well as the navy also held a counsel meeting during which they analyzed new information and discussed plans to improve search and rescue work.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200ER, suddenly went missing on its way to Beijing last Saturday morning shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur. The plane was carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers, including 154 Chinese.
Search and rescue operations by multiple nations have failed to find any trace of the plane as of yet.