Investigators looking for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on Tuesday said that they were probably scanning the wrong area all this while and recommended that the search area be extended by 25,000 sq km further north in the Indian Ocean. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which is heading the search operation, said in its report that fresh evidence has helped them determine the new area, reported the Chicago Tribune.
Of the three countries involved in this hunt, Australia has shot down the recommendation because of a lack of “credible evidence”, while China and Malaysia have yet to confirm if they will continue to fund the search operation. “The report does not give a specific location for the missing aircraft and so we need credible evidence that identifies the specific location of the aircraft to extend the search,” the spokesperson for Australia’s Infrastructure and Transport minister Darren Chester told Reuters.
Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai, on the other hand, refrained from commenting on the funding. These two countries have contributed the bulk of the $145-million (Rs 965 crore approximately) operation.
Currently, the Dutch-owned Fugro Equator is looking for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that disappeared on March 8, 2014. Officials had said they will suspend the search operation if this last vessel fails to find the plane by early 2017. Fugro Equator, equipped with a manoeuvrable drone that can collect sonar images of difficult terrain, is looking for the Boeing 777 in a 1.2 lakh sqkm area of the Indian Ocean in the west of Australia.
Different teams formed to locate the aircraft have not been able to find any piece of wreckage that could confirm the whereabouts of the plane, which went missing with 239 people on board en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. In July, ministers from Australia, Malaysia and China had reportedly met in Kuala Lumpur to discuss the future of the search operation. After the meeting, the Malaysian government had announced that the search for the missing MH370 flight will be suspended if nothing was found in the current search area.