No trace of Malaysia Airlines jet

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Malaysia Airlines12345 Reuters Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (right) addresses reporters as Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein stands by him at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

New Delhi - Indian navy ships supported by surveillance planes and helicopters scoured Andaman Sea islands for a third day on Saturday without any success in finding evidence of a missing Malaysia Airlines jet, an official said.

V.S.R. Murthy, a top Indian coast guard official, said the search has been expanded farther west into the Bay of Bengal.

Nearly a dozen ships, patrol vessels, surveillance aircraft and helicopters have been deployed but “we have got nothing so far,” Murthy said.

Bangladesh also joined the search effort in the Bay of Bengal with two patrol aircraft and two frigates, said Mahbubul Haque Shakil, an aide of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Seeing no headway, Malaysian authorities suggested Friday a new search area of 9,000 square kilometres (3,474 square miles) to India along the Chennai coast in the Bay of Bengal, India's Defense Ministry said in a statement.

On Friday, India used heat sensors on flights over hundreds of uninhabited Andaman Sea islands that stretch south of Myanmar, covering an area 720 kilometres (447 miles) long and 52 kilometres (32 miles) wide.

Only 37 of 572 are inhabited, with the rest covered in dense forests.

The island chain has four airstrips, but only the main airport in Port Blair can handle a large commercial jet. - Sapa-AP



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