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Australian PM dismisses report of missing Malaysian aircraft landing, vows continued search

English.news.cn   2014-04-23 19:23:21

CANBERRA, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Wednesday that he has "no advise whatsoever to suggest that there is any truth at all" in a report by a Malaysian newspaper that the missing Malaysian aircraft has landed somewhere instead of having ended in the Southern Indian Ocean.

"Our expert advice is that the aircraft went down somewhere in the Indian Ocean. We have identified a probable impact zone which is about 700 kilometers long, about 80 kilometers wide and based on the detections from what we still believe was the black box recorder," he said at a press conference in Canberra.

The New Straits Times of Malaysia in a front page exclusive report on Monday, quoting members of the International Investigation Team (IIT) based in Kuala Lumpur, claimed they are thinking of starting right from the beginning to solve the case of MH370, which disappeared on March 8 en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.

That the aircraft may have landed elsewhere than the Southern Indian Ocean is under consideration, the report said.

Abbott said "under-sea searching" is being conducted at the moment within a circle with a radius of about 12 km, an area of just under 400 square km.

The Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC) said the focused underwater search area is defined as a circle of 10 km radius around the second Towed Pinger Locator detection which occurred on April 8.

For the latest development, JACC announced on Wednesday a material has been washed ashore 10 km east of Augusta, southwest of Western Australian.

The West Australian newspaper described the material as " apparent aircraft wreckage" although JACC said the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is still examining the photographs of the material to determine whether further physical analysis is required and if there is any relevance to the search for missing flight MH370.

Abbott stressed that the search operation is still going on and will continue.

"We haven't finished the search. We haven't found anything yet in the area that we're searching, but the point I make is that Australia will not rest until we have done everything we humanly can to get to the bottom of this mystery."

He said "there is reasonable hope of finding something" while pledging Australia "will not let down the families of the 239 people who were on that plane by lightly surrendering."

While more than 80 percent of the focused underwater search area has been completed by Wednesday morning, Abbott said if at the end of that period nothing is found "we are not going to abandon the search."

"We may well re-think the search, but we will not rest until we have done everything we can to solve this mystery. We owe it to the families of the 239 people on board; we owe it to the hundreds of millions, indeed billions of people who travel by air.... Now, the only way we can get to the bottom of this is to keep searching the probable impact zone until we find something or until we have searched it as thoroughly as human ingenuity allows at this time."

Editor: Shen Qing
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