Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Search Area To Double, Officials Say

The search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 will be doubled, according to officials from Malaysia, China, and Australia.

One of the biggest mysteries in aviation history, the missing jetliner has not been heard from or seen for more than a year after it vanished without a trace while en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China on March 8, 2014. The circumstances in which the plane disappeared with 239 souls on board has led to many conspiracy theories.

After searching the waters of the Indian Ocean — west of Perth, Australia — where investigators believe Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 crashed, the recovery operations are expanding to try to locate the missing jetliner. What makes this a baffling incident is the fact that not one piece of debris from the crash has been located, leaving distraught family members with no answers or explanations as to where the plane is.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 search area
Image via ABC

Multi-national teams have worked about 60 percent of the 60,000-square-kilometer priority zone. The search will stretch into a new equally vast area, government officials from Malaysia, Australia, and China announced Thursday, according to CNN.

This will bring the search area to 120,000 square kilometers (approximately 75,000 square miles) and will cover the entire highest probability area that analysts have identified as that in which Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 may be located.

“Ministers remain committed to bring closure and some peace to the families and loved ones of those on board Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370,” the three countries said in a joint statement.

On March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 took-off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia with a Beijing Capital International Airport in China destination. The cockpit’s last voice contact with air traffic control was at 17:19 UTC on March 7, while traveling over the South China Sea, less than an hour after takeoff and no problems were reported.

Search Continues For Possible Malaysian Airliner Debris Found In Indian Ocean
Photo by Getty Images

During the night the aircraft disappeared from air traffic controllers’ radar screens, however, Malaysian military radar continued to track Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, For unknown reasons the transponder was turned on by someone in the cockpit, and the flight changed its original flight path, crossing the Malay Peninsula.

Investigators have identified the pilot as the main suspect in the mysterious disappearance, after clearing all other passengers with possible motives to crash the plane. According to Australian Transport Safety Bureau data gathering, flight MH370 may have experienced a hypoxia event, in which slow or gradual decompression occurs, which resulted in the loss of consciousness of those on board Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

[Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images]