The Australian maritime authorities confirmed on Wednesday that they have contacted with merchant ships in southern Indian Ocean and asked them to help search the missing Malaysian flight MH 370.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said that two P-3 Orion surveillance planes, respectively from Australia and New Zealand, and a P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane from the United States, conducted a search over more than 300,000 square kilometers of waters on southern Indian Ocean Wednesday.
Another Australian P-3 Orion surveillance plane will join the operation Thursday.
Meanwhile, the authority has sent signals to merchant ships sailing in the area. Among the five ships that responded, three have headed for the designated waters to assist the search operation.
Based on information provided by Malaysia and the United States, AMSA temporarily narrowed down its search area to a 600,000-square-kilometer space about 3,000 kilometers southwest of Perth, Australia.
John Young, head of emergency response at AMSA, said that neither the surveillance planes nor the ships have found anything about the missing flight yet.
The Malaysian Airlines’ Flight 370 left the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 00:41 (Beijing time) on March 8 and was expected to land in the Beijing International Airport at 06:30, but contact with the flight was lost along with its radar signal at 01:20 Beijing time on March 8 when it was flying over the Ho Chi Minh City air traffic control area in Vietnam.
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