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Feature: Unprecedented international search for missing flight MH370

Editor: Bai Yang 丨Xinhua

05-04-2014 21:37 BJT

Full coverage: Malaysia Airlines Plane Bound for Beijing Goes Missing

BEIJING, May 4 (Xinhua) -- With engines roaring, two Chinese IL-76 transport aircraft took off from Australia's Perth International Airport Saturday, ending a 43-day mission searching for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

This is an honorable retreat for the two planes, which arrived in Perth on March 22 as part of a Chinese air force detachment in support of the multinational search operation in the southern Indian Ocean.

On Thursday, Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said in a statement the world should face the fact that MH370's whereabouts remain unknown and the fate of all on board was still uncertain.

He said that, as there was still no trace of the ill-fated plane, the search operation in the southern Indian Ocean was moving to a new phase.

Yahya's statement echoed Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who said Monday the hunt for the missing jetliner entered a new phase with the seabed search to be expanded to a much larger area.

With search areas having moved from the Gulf of Thailand to the North Indian Ocean and now to the South Indian Ocean over the past 57 days, the goal of this search effort, unprecedented in human history, remains the same -- to find MH370 and the 239 people on board as soon as possible.

Incomplete statistics show a total of 26 countries have participated in the search, with many vowing to dig out the truth no matter what and how long it takes.

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