For Missing Malaysian Jet May Take Years: U.S. Official
Send a link to a friend
[April 25, 2014]
By Matt Siegel
SYDNEY (Reuters) — The search for missing
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is likely to drag on for years, a senior
U.S. defense official told Reuters on Friday, as an underwater search
for any trace of the plane's wreckage off west Australia appeared to
The official, speaking under condition of anonymity because he was
not authorized to comment on the search effort, said two weeks of
scouring the Indian Ocean floor with a U.S. Navy submersible drone
had turned up no wreckage.
He said the search for the jetliner, which vanished on March 8 with
239 people on board, would now enter a much harder phase of scouring
broader areas of the ocean near where the plane is believed to have
"We went all in on this small area and didn't find anything. Now
you've got to go back to the big area," the official said. "And now
you're talking years."
On Friday, the undersea drone Bluefin-21 is expected to finish what
may be the last of its 16-hour trips to depths of more than 4.5km
(2.8 miles) searching a 10 square km (6.2 square mile) stretch of seabed about 2,000 miles northwest of Perth.
Authorities had identified the area as their strongest lead in
determining the plane's final resting place after detecting what
they suspected was a signal, or "ping", from the plane's black box
recorder on April 4.
[to top of second column]
But the U.S. official said Malaysia would have to decide how to
proceed with the search, including whether to bring in more
underwater drones, even with the understanding that the search could
continue for years without a refined search area.
(Reporting by Matt Siegel; editing by Paul Tait)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.