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Search for MH370 to focus on underwater mission


05-22-2014 19:55 BJT

Full coverage: Malaysia Airlines Plane Bound for Beijing Goes Missing

China’s Ministry of Transportation says China, Australia and Malaysia have reached a consensus on continuing the search for missing Malaysia Airline Flight MH370. Authorities say the next step will focus on the underwater search.

Private companies are invited to take part. The three countries are now preparing for the next stage of the search.

"Chinese personnel have clarified the underwater scanning mission of Chinese vessels during this phase of transition with personnel from Australia and Malaysia. The survey ship Zhu Kezhen and patrol vessel Haixun 01 are currently conducting underwater scanning missions," Ministry of Transportation spokesman Li Yang said.

The autonomous underwater vehicle Bluefin-21 was deployed from the Australian vessel Ocean Shield early on Thursday to continue its search. Bluefin-21 will search the remaining areas over the next week based on the acoustic signals detected in early April.

Ocean Shield is expected to leave the search area on May 28 and return to base on May 31. It will then hand the Bluefin-21 equipment back to the U.S. Navy. Search teams from China, Australia and Malaysia will then take over the underwater search mission.

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