Missing Malaysian Plane #MH370: 26 countries join hunt for missing plane; ...search stretches from Kazakhstan to Southern Ocean

Australia has taken the lead in the hunt for the missing Boeing 777 over the southern Indian Ocean as the list of countries providing assistance rose to 26 today.

The move came as Malaysia's transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein revealed that two million square miles still need to be searched.

Malaysia has appealed for radar data and search planes to help in the unprecedented hunt through a vast swath of Asia stretching north-west into Kazakhstan.

It said searches have begun in both the northern and southern corridors of a vast swath of Asia where the jet may have ended up.

The Malaysian government has revealed an investigation indicates the jet was deliberately diverted and flew for several hours after leaving its scheduled flight path.

French investigators arriving to lend expertise from the two-year search for an Air France jet that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009.
'It's very different from the Air France case. The Malaysian situation is much more difficult,' Jean Paul Troadec, a special adviser to France's aviation accident investigation bureau, said in Kuala Lumpur.
Kazakhstan said it had not detected any 'unsanctioned use' of its air space by any planes on March 8, making it unlikely that a missing Malaysia Arlines jetliner could have been diverted along a northern route via Thailand.

The flight could hypothetically have reached the Central Asian nation's air space, but it would have been detected there, the Kazakh Civil Aviation Committee said in a detailed statement.

Malaysia Airlines planes had made nine regular flights to and from Europe over Kazakhstan's territory on March 8, it said.

A huge area spanning the rainforests of South East Asia and the landscapes of former Soviet Union republics is now part of the investigation into the fate of Flight MH370, which set out nine days ago on a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Excruciatingly for the families of the 239 people on board, searchers from 25 nations still have no idea whether the aircraft has come down on land or sea.

But experts have concluded that it was hijacked or sabotaged by someone with knowledge of the controls – and from the moment it swerved away from its path could have headed south into the southern Indian Ocean or north in a gentle curve to Central Asia.

The plane’s last signal, which was picked up by a satellite orbiting more than 22,000 miles above the Indian Ocean, placed it along one of two arcs – referred to as air corridors.

One runs from the southern border of Kazakhstan in Central Asia to northern Thailand.

The other runs from near Jakarta, Indonesia, to the Indian Ocean, some 1,000 miles off Australia’s west coast.

The authorities believe the last signals picked up by satellite could possibly have been transmitted when the plane was on land – and yesterday, after a fruitless hunt of oceans to the east and west of Malaysia, authorities in Kuala Lumpur announced that searches have begun across 11 different countries.

The ‘straight line’ distance from the most southerly point of the search, in the southern Indian Ocean, to the most northerly area in Central Asia is an enormous 6,000 miles.


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