New MH370 lead risks ‘distracting’ search effort

The head of the search effort for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 said no evidence of aircraft wreckage has yet been found in the Bay of Bengal despite requesting naval ships to comb the area.

Joint Action Coordination Centre (JACC) Chief Coordinator Angus Houston confirmed that three Bangladeshi Navy ships were in the area, using echo sound technology after Australian exploration business GeoResonance urged the international search team to examine its findings.

“I have the heaviest weight put on all the evidence that is before us, the great work that the world team here in Kuala Lumpur has found, the analysis of the manual handshakes between the aircraft and the satellite,” said Houston at a press conference today with Malaysia’s acting transport minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and president of the French Aviation Accident Investigation Bureau who headed the 2009 Air France 447 investigation team Jean-Paul Troadec, deputy foreign minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin and deputy defence minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri.

Houston added: “The simulation work has been done to define the area in the southern Indian Ocean. I’m confident the area in the southern ocean is the right search area and I’m sure that in time, we will find the aircraft in that area of the Indian Ocean.”

GeoResonance had claimed to have found the wreckage of an aircraft – possibly MH370 – in the Bay of Bengal, approximately 5,000km from the current search area south west of Perth.

Hishammuddin said a search in the Bay of Bengal risked distracting the current search effort. “If we went there and the result from the search was negative, who is going to be resposible for that loss of time? Having more vessels out there will affect the search in the (current) area,” he added.

Houston said efforts to locate the source of transmissions detected on April 5 with the Bluefin unmanned submarine remained the most promising lead.

“They were in the search area defined by the international team and they were under the seventh ping arch line. When we get the transmission from the deep, it was obvious that we had to go down and have a look. We sent the Bluefin down in that area. Thus far, it has found nothing and we have covered 500 square kilometres to date. That’s just the way it is,” he added. “I must say that the chances of finding it, I think the probability is lower than it was when we started the search,” he said.

Read More:
MH370 probe assessing Bay of Bengal sightings of missing jet
GeoResonance Press Release

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