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The New Straits Times

Search for MH370 may be 'in the wrong place

There is renewed concern that the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 could have ended elsewhere other than the Southern Indian Ocean, a Malaysian media reported.

As the search entered its 45th day on Monday, The New Straits Times in a front page exclusive report quoting members of the International Investigation Team (IIT) based in Kuala Lumpur claimed they are thinking of starting right from the beginning to solve this unprecedented chapter in aviation history.

That the Boeing 777-200ER may have landed elsewhere than the Southern Indian Ocean as announced by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in a press conference last month, is under consideration, the report said, according to Malaysiankini.

"We may have to look into this if no positive results come back in the next few days - but at the same time the search mission in the Indian Ocean will go on.

"The thought of it landing somewhere else is possible as we have not found a single piece of debris that could be linked to MH370.

"However, the possibility of a specific country hiding the plane when more than 20 nations are searching for it, seems absurd," New Stratis Times quoted an official as saying.

Chinese and Australian vessels have detected black box pings earlier this month, but so far nothing has been forthcoming.

The IIT is also looking into increasing more assets to be deployed to the existing search area in the Indian Ocean, as well as widening the search area as it fears the search team is "looking for the plane in the wrong place".

"We can’t focus on one place too long as the ocean is very big although the search team has been following the leads received and analysed. It is by luck if we find the wreckage using the Bluefin 21...there is no physical evidence and we are totally depending on scientific calculations from day one including from the pings."

Besides this, IIT is hoping more data to be supplied including from the relevant satellites and also from the Australian Joint Defence Facility, Pine Gap, in Alice Spring in the Northern Territory which have to date, has not supplied any information, the report said.

The giant radar facility in Pine Gap is managed jointly by the United States and Australia.


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