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Search for Malaysian jet may stretch into Indian Ocean

Kuala Lumpur - The six-day search for a Malaysian airliner with 239 people aboard might be widened into the Indian Ocean after investigators found that the latest leads were inaccurate.

The additional search area might be opened "based on new information," White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday in Washington."We are discussing with partners which assets to deploy."

US military vessels and aircraft are actively participating in the search, while US air safety officials are in Kuala Lumpur to assist the Malaysian-led investigation, Carney said. Broadcaster CNN reported that the USS Kitts was steaming from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean.

Earlier Thursday, two leads pursued by investigators turned up nothing, with Malaysian authorities saying both were inaccurate.

Search-and-rescue operations continued over 126,900 square kilometers from the South China Sea to the Strait of Malacca.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 disappeared Saturday on a flight from Kuala Lampur to Beijing. The continuing search for Flight MH370 could take up to four weeks, a German aviation expert said.

"The probability of finding the wreck of the missing Malaysian Boeing is still high, but it will take a huge international search operation and could take three or four weeks," Heinrich Grossbongardt said.

Rescue ships and aircraft had sped early Thursday to an area in the South China Sea where a Chinese satellite had spotted floating objects already on the weekend, but rescuers found nothing in the area, Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said.

China later admitted that the data was unconfirmed and the release of the images on a Chinese government website was unauthorized, Hishammuddin said.

DPA


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