Malaysia says decision on extending search of MH370 yet to be decided

Updated 2016-12-20 14:52:25 Xinhua

Malaysia said on Tuesday it remains to be guided as how a new Australian report, which said investigators searching for the missing MH370 flight may be looking at the wrong area, can be used to assist authorities to identify the specific location of the aircraft.

"I wish to reiterate that the aspiration to locate MH370 has not been abandoned and every decision made has and will always be in the spirit of cooperation among the three nations," said Malaysia's Minister of Transport Liow Tiong Lai, referring to the three searching nations China, Malaysia and Australia.

Noting that the report presented a thorough analysis of MH370 search efforts, he referred to an agreement reached by the three nations in July that "consideration will be given in determining next steps should credible new information emerge which can be used to identify location of the aircraft," but stopped short of saying whether the new report constitute as "credible information."

In the First Principles Review Report on MH370, released by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau on Tuesday, investigators and aviation experts said "there is a high degree of confidence that the previously identified underwater area searched to date does not contain the missing aircraft."

They recommended expanding the search area by an additional 25,000 square kilometers, after 110,000 square kilometers have been scoured.

Flight MH370 disappeared in March 2014 with 239 passengers and crew on board, most of them Chinese, en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.

The three nations have decided to suspend the search operation after finishing the 120,000 square kilometers, slated to be finished by January, if no credible information emerged.

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