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Chinese ship in latest glitch in MH370 search mission

Published on May 31, 2014 12:48 PM
The Chinese Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) vessel Hai Xin 01 is seen from a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P-3K2 Orion aircraft in the southern Indian Ocean, as the search continues for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on April 13, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY (AFP) - A Chinese ship mapping the ocean floor ahead of an intensive underwater search for missing Flight MH370 was returning to port on Saturday due to a technical problem, officials said.

The massive Indian Ocean search for the Malaysia Airlines plane, which disappeared on March 8 carrying 239 people, has so far failed to find any sign of the Boeing 777.

The Chinese survey ship, Zhu Kezhen, was conducting a bathymetric survey - or mapping of the ocean floor - to help experts determine how to carry out the next stage of the search on the previously unmapped ocean seabed.

"Zhu Kezhen suffered a defect to its multibeam echosounder and is coming into port to conduct the necessary repairs," Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Centre said in a statement.

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