The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has now covered an area of ocean floor the size of Connecticut, investigators said Wednesday as they announced a plan to prioritize the hunt for the jet’s missing black boxes. More than 5,400 square miles of the bottom of the southern Indian Ocean have now been searched without any sign of the Boeing 777, the Australia Transportation Safety Bureau said in an operational update, and more than 80,000 square miles of sea bed have now been mapped by specialist vessels. “Assuming no significant delays with vessels, equipment or from the weather, the current underwater search area may be largely completed around May 2015,” the update said.
MH370 disappeared on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board. Not a single piece of debris has been found. The ATSB said data from the bathymetric survey was being used to focus the search effort. “In addition to locating the aircraft, the underwater search aims to map the MH370 debris field in order to identify and prioritize the recovery of specific aircraft components, including flight recorders, which will assist with the Malaysian investigation.”
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