Malaysia Mulls Missing Plane Search in Bengal Bay

Friday, 02 May 2014 11:40 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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The Malaysian government is considering plans to send a search ship to the Bay of Bengal to hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 despite believing that it’s "highly unlikely" it crashed into the waters there.

CNN reported that three days ago, the Australian company GeoResonance claimed that it may have found the wreckage of a plane in the bay. And although it cannot be certain that the debris is part of Flight 370, the company urged Malaysia to send ships to the area.

The government initially dismissed reports that the vanished Malaysian Airlines aircraft could be in the bay, which is thousands of miles from the current designated search area in the southern Indian Ocean.

But now acting Transportation Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says that the information can only be ruled out by sending ships to the vicinity.

"I just want to stress that by doing that, we are distracting ourselves from the main search," he said, according to CNN. "And in the event that the result from the search is negative, who is going to be responsible for that loss of time?"

Hussein said that it was "highly unlikely" that the plane is in the Bay of Bengal, the largest bay in the world and the northern part of the Indian Ocean.

His doubts are fueled by Angus Houston, the coordinator of the international search effort, who is certain that the plane lies in the current search location.

Houston said, "I am confident that the area in the southern ocean is the right search area, and I'm sure that in some time, we'll find the aircraft in that area."

He said three Bangladeshi naval ships have already arrived in the bay to look for the aircraft, but have found no signs of wreckage.

Houston added that it could take up to 12 months to find the aircraft, which vanished on March 8 carrying 239 people aboard.

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