Sri Lanka helps search and rescue mission for missing plane

Sri Lanka helps search and rescue mission for missing plane

March 18, 2014   12:29 pm

Sri Lanka has agreed to allow overflight clearance for special search and rescue aircraft from Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and the United States to undertake search of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight, the External Affairs Ministry said.  

Media reports had said that U.S. government agencies are working with their Indian counterparts to take a close look at radar data to see if the plane flew over the Indian Ocean, as one theory suggests.

Malaysia has asked the U.S. Navy to send the destroyer USS Kidd to the Andaman Sea to patrol, and a P-3 Orion anti-submarine plane has searched west of the Malaysian peninsula to roughly the island of Sri Lanka, a distance of about 1,000 linear miles.

The Navy is now sending another aircraft, a P-8, which has more surface search radar, to the Bay of Bengal, after Malaysia requested a search in that area.

Australian, US and New Zealand planes are starting their hunt for the jetliner in a new search area 3,000km southwest of Perth in the southern Indian Ocean.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) confirmed the search area is more than 600,000 square kilometres in size, and that it would take “several weeks” to search the area thoroughly.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports in Malaysian media say investigators probing the homemade flight simulator of the MH370 captain have found five runways from Indian Ocean airports, including Sri Lanka, programmed into it.

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