Ships Searching for Missing Malaysia Airlines Plane Wreckage Make Unexpected Find

World | May 4, 2018, Friday // 13:30
Bulgaria: Ships Searching for Missing Malaysia Airlines Plane Wreckage Make Unexpected Find AFP

METRO UK - Ships searching for the wreckage of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have made an unexpected find in the Indian Ocean. A team discovered two large shipwrecks while combing the water for remains of the doomed flight that vanished in 2014, with 239 people on board.

The plane had been en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, China, when it went missing. Ocean Infinity, the American technology company conducting the latest search, scanned nearly 80,000 square kilometres (31,000 square miles) since January without finding any sign of the wreckage.

But search crews had previously stumbled upon two sunken vessels from the 19th century that were used by merchant sailors. The crew found the wreckages at depths of up to 3900 metres back in 2015 and after an analysis from the Western Australian Museum they have been identified. At least one of the ships was sunk after an explosion caused by its cargo of coal, according to maritime archaeology curator Ross Anderson. He said: ‘Historical research into all 19th century merchant ships that disappeared in international waters is incomplete so we cannot conclusively determine identity of the individual ships.’

Ocean Infinity confirmed on Monday it had scanned up to 1,300 square kilometers (500 square miles) per day since launching its mission far off the west coast of Australia in late January. No transmissions were received from Flight 370 after its first 38 minutes of flight, but it is believed to have crashed in the far southern Indian Ocean based on the drift patterns of crash debris that washed ashore on distant beaches. The governments of Malaysia, China and Australia called off the nearly three-year official search in January 2017. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s final report on the search conceded authorities were no closer to knowing the reasons for the plane’s disappearance or its exact location.

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