Flight 370 Search Turns to Mapping Ocean Floor

They hope single firm will take on task
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2014 7:43 AM CDT
Flight 370 Search Turns to Mapping Ocean Floor
Australian, Malaysian, and Chinese officials attend a press conference for the missing Malaysian jet with search coordinator Angus Houston, center, in Canberra, Australia, Monday, May 5, 2014.   (AP Photo/AAP Image, Alan Porritt)

The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is growing, officials say, as searchers prepare to map a wide swath of the ocean floor in a new phase of the effort. "We know very clearly the area of the follow-up search will be even broader, with more difficulties and tougher tasks," says China's transport minister. "For the next stage involving sonar and other autonomous vehicles, potentially at very great depths, we need to have an understanding of the ocean floor," says Australia's deputy PM, per CNN. The new search area has "never been mapped."

Officials will be looking for help from private companies; they doubt firms will need much financial incentive, USA Today reports. "There's no reward big enough," says Malaysia's acting transport minister, but if a company can find the plane, it will win instant worldwide fame, he notes. Search leaders are hoping a single firm will take on the task to avoid continued coordination problems, the Wall Street Journal notes. Officials also plan to go through all existing data once again. "It's very sensible to go back" to be certain "there are no flaws in that—the assumptions are right, the analysis is right, and the deductions and conclusions are right," says search coordinator Angus Houston. (More Flight 370 stories.)

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