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Search for MH370 to shift south of previous focus area: Report

Published on Jun 20, 2014 1:39 PM
Crew aboard the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield move the US Navy's Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle into position for deployment in the southern Indian Ocean to look for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on April 14, 2014, in this file handout released by the US Navy. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY (AFP) - The drawn-out search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 will revert to an area hundreds of kilometres south of the previously suspected crash site following new analysis of the plane's flight path, a report said on Friday.

Investigators grappling to solve the mystery of the jet's disappearance are set to scour a zone 1,800 kilometres west of Perth - previously subject to an aerial search - when an underwater probe resumes in August, the West Australian said.

Citing unnamed US sources, the newspaper said Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) would soon announce that the hunt will move 800 kilometres southwest from where it was previously focused. It said these sources had revealed that survey ship Fugro Equator was already operating in this area and would soon be joined by Chinese vessel Zhu Kezhen.

A massive aerial and underwater search for MH370, which had 239 people onboard when it diverted from its Kuala Lumpur to Beijing flight path on March 8, has failed to find any sign of the plane. Scientists from British company Inmarsat told the BBC earlier this week that the search had yet to target the most likely crash site, or "hotspot", after becoming diverted by pings thought at the time to have originated from the plane's black boxes.

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