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Search for Malaysian Airliner Focuses on Straits of Malacca

 / Updated 

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Search and rescue teams scouring for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet have expanded the scope of their hunt beyond the flight path and are focusing on the West Peninsular of Malaysia at the Straits of Malacca, where the aircraft may have turned around.

The airline said authorities are looking at the possibility that Flight 370 attempted to turn back to Subang, the suburb of Kuala Lumpur from which it departed.

The Strait of Malacca is a relatively narrow stretch of sea that lies west of the Malaysia peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

"All angles are being looked at. We are not ruling out any possibilities," the airline said in a statement released early Tuesday local time.

In addition to the search of the sea, land in the areas is also being combed over.

Numerous countries — including Australia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines and the United States — are assisting in the search.

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The airline also announced the last known location of the doomed flight was 06.5515 longitude, 103.3443 latitude — an area of the South China Sea, roughly 100 miles northeast of the Malaysian port city of Bachok and several hundred miles northeast of Kuala Lumpur International Airport, according to Google Maps.

The Boeing 777-200 — carrying 227 passengers from 14 countries along with 12 crew members — disappeared from radar early Saturday morning between Kuala Lumpur and Vietnam.

Safety experts say it's not surprising that no emergency signals from the plane have been picked up — especially if the plane is underwater.

— Daniel Arkin

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