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Multinational hunt for missing MH370 under way, no traces turn up yet

English.news.cn   2014-03-18 11:21:50

BEIJING, March 18 (Xinhua) -- The United States withdrew the USS Kidd, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, on Monday from the multinational massive search for missing Malaysian flight MH370 to rely on long-range surveillance aircraft for the hunt.

So far, no clues have been found related to the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which vanished on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard.

"With the search area expanding into the southern Indian Ocean, long range patrol aircraft such as the P-8A Poseidon and P-3C Orion are more suited to the current SAR (search and rescue) mission," the 7th Fleet's spokesman William Marks said in an emailed statement.

Equipped with advanced surface search radars and electro-optical sensors, the two airplanes can cover 38,850 square kilometers in nine hours at low altitudes if visual identification is needed.

The international search for the missing MH370 have been expanded, covering a area stretching from the shores of the Caspian Sea in the north to deep in the southern Indian Ocean, but Central and South Asian countries have reported no traces of the Boeing 777-200 jet.

Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan said Monday no signs of the missing Malaysian plane had been spotted despite reports that it may have reached their airspace.

"There was no unsanctioned use of Kazakhstan's airspace on that day," Kazakhstan's civil aviation chief Serik Mukhtybayev told the press.

Mukhtybayev said that "Kazakhstan could be seen as one of the extreme points of this flight," he said, adding the country was ready to help though Malaysia had not made an official request.

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev also agreed to "show cooperation in the search for the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777," the government press service said the same day.

The country's civil aviation authority and air defence forces "will provide all the necessary information to our Malaysian colleagues," it said.

Also on Monday, Pakistan and India, as well as Taliban militants, said they knew nothing about the whereabouts of the missing jetliner.

With 154 Chinese on the missing plane, China said it will readjust its search efforts.

"The focus of China's search efforts is no longer just in the South China Sea," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Monday."The greater the search area becomes, the more difficult the search will be, so we have to come up with better ideas and methods."

Ten Chinese vessels are so far on standby for further instructions, with eight ships on call over the Gulf of Thailand and two in waters near Singapore.

Meanwhile, New Zealand has reaffirmed its commitment to the international hunt on land, at sea and in the air, as Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman said Tuesday it would relocate RNZAF P3 Orion, a Royal New Zealand Air Force plane, to search "the southern corridor area."

The armed forces of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will also send two search and rescue aircraft to join the search, UAE state news agency WAM reported.

As many as 26 countries have been involved in the search across Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean.

Editor: Shen Qing
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