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Missing Malaysian Airlines Jet Search Area to Be Expanded

Australia's prime minister said the underwater search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet will be expanded.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters in Canberra on Monday afternoon that the U.S. Navy's Bluefin 21 robotic submarine has finished scouring the initial search area far off the Australian west coast and has not yet found anything related to the doomed Flight 370.

"Thus far none of our efforts in the air, on the surface or under the sea have found any wreckage," he said.

The Bluefin's original search area was a circle with a 10-kilometer (6-mile) radius, 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles) deep around a spot where signals consistent with airplane "black boxes" were heard on April on April 8.

"I want the families to know, I want the world to know, that Australia will not shirk its responsibilities in this area. We will do everything we humanly can ... to solve this mystery," Abbott said. "We will not let people down and while the search will be moving to a new phase in coming weeks, it certainly is not ending."

Image: Bluefin-21
The Bluefin-21 as it is craned over the side of Ocean Shield in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 in the southern Indian Ocean on April 16. LSIS Bradley Darvill / Australian Defence via EPA
— Daniel Arkin with The Associated Press