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Australia vows to continue Malaysian airliner search as more ships arrive

English.news.cn   2014-03-31 22:41:06

CANBERRA, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Monday refused to put a time limit on the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 although the multinational search efforts have turned out to be fruitless since the jetliner vanished in the southern Indian Ocean on March 8.

Visiting aircraft crews at Royal Australian Air Force Base Pearce, near Perth, Abbott said that if the mystery of the missing Boeing 777-200 airliner was solvable "we will solve it."

"I'm certainly not putting a time limit on it," he said at a press conference.

"As I said, 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."

A total of 10 aircraft took part in Monday's search with the militaries of Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea each contributing a P3 Orion, along with a Chinese air force Ilyushin IL-76, a U.S. Navy P8 Poseidon, two Malaysian air force C-130 Hercules, and a civil jet acting as a communications relay, said the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

However, they returned to Perth with "nothing significant to report," said the AMSA Twitter feed.

Meanwhile, 10 ships were also taking part: Australian navy vessels HMAS Success and HMAS Toowoomba, seven Chinese ships and a merchant vessel.

Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield was to conduct sea trials after leaving Perth Monday with a black box detector and an autonomous underwater vehicle to find and retrieve the missing aircraft's flight data and cockpit voice recorders.

It was expected to take several days to reach the search area.

Malaysian guided missile frigate KD Lekiu arrived at the Australian naval base in Perth Monday to join search operations.

Editor: yan
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