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MH370 plane search ends in "ping" zone

Editor: Zhang Jianfeng 丨Xinhua

05-29-2014 15:36 BJT

Full coverage: Malaysia Airlines Plane Bound for Beijing Goes Missing

SYDNEY, May 29 (Xinhua) -- The location of flight MH370 is still a mystery after Australian authorities on Thursday dismissed an area considered the most likely zone where the missing plane had landed.

An area in the Indian Ocean had been the prime search target because of the detection of acoustic pings believed to be from the plane's black box.

But the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said in a statement that the search of the area had finished and it was not believed that MH370 was in that zone.

The statement follows comments by a U.S. Navy official on CNN on Thursday that the pings had not come from the plane's data or cockpit voice recorders but from a man-made source unrelated to the missing aircraft.

Michael Dean, the Navy's deputy director of ocean engineering, said the pings had most likely come from a vessel.

"Our best theory at this point is that (the pings were) likely some sound produced by the ship ... or within the electronics of the Towed Pinger Locator," Dean said.

The U.S. Navy later dismissed Dean's comments as "speculative and premature" -- but this was before the ATSB's announcement.

The Malaysian Airlines flight, with 239 passengers and crew on board, disappeared on March 8 on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

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