Next stage of MH370 search to focus on 58 spots in Indian Ocean

A member of ground crew works on a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 airplane on the runway at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A member of ground crew works on a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 airplane on the runway at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SEREMBAN - The search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will be focused on 58 spots in a 60,000-sq-km area of the Indian ocean, said Malaysian Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He said the locations were identified in the latest survey by the international search team, New Straits Times reported.

There were hard objects in the 58 locations, said the report.

The newspaper quoted Liong as saying although the hard objects can be anything from "rocks to ship wreckage or a plane", the findings help the team determine where to focus in the next stage of search.

"An underwater search using deep sea equipment will be conducted at these spots soon," he told reporters, adding that the underwater search may take about a year to complete.

MH370 with 239 people on board disappeared on March 8 en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. No trace of the plane has been found in the world's longest search for a missing jet in modern aviation history.

More than four months later, another Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed in Ukraine on July 17, believed to have been shot down by a missile.

Liow said a flight carrying the remains of another seven Malaysians and two Dutch citizens is scheduled to arrive at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 8.30am on Tuesday. The two Dutch citizens are the husbands of two Malaysian victims.