Search for missing flight MH370 'entering a new phase'

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said the search for missing flight MH370 is now "entering a new phase". He said the effort would now be "focussed on searching the ocean floor" over a "much larger area" than is currently being covered.

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Air traffic control - 17 mins to see MH370 was missing

An interim report into the missing Malaysian passenger plane has shown that it took air traffic control 17 minutes to realise it had disappeared.

It took another four hours to begin a rescue operation. The report also said the plane had more than two tonnes of lithium batteries in its cargo hold.

And with the report, the Malaysian authorities released recordings of the crew talking to the air traffic control.

Malaysia to 'assess credibility' of wreckage find reports

The Malaysian government is working to "assess the credibility" of reports that possible aircraft wreckage has been spotted 3,000 miles away from the search for missing flight MH370.

International aircrews involved in the search for flight MH370 prepare for official photograph. Credit: REUTERS/Richard Polden

"We are aware of a report citing the detection of potential aircraft wreckage in the Bay of Bengal", transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein told a news conference. “China and Australia are also aware of this report".

He also announced the appointment of Kok Soo Chon, a former director-general at the department of civil aviation, as head of the international investigation team.

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MH370 search teams to scan seabed for wreckage

The "new phase" of the search effort for flight MH370 will involve an "intensified underwater search" using specialised sonar equipment towed behind ships to scan the seabed for wreckage, Australia's Prime Minister has said.

Tony Abbott added that It was now "highly unlikely" that search teams would find any debris from missing flights MH370.

He said that as it has now been 52 days since the disappearance, any debris would have become waterlogged and sunk.

Tony Abbott: MH370 search 'entering a new phase'

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said the search for missing flight MH370 is now "entering a new phase".

Australia's Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, addressing a news conference Credit: Reuters

"We are moving from the current phase to a phase which is focussed on searching the ocean floor over a much larger area," he said.

Speaking at a news conference, Mr Abbott said the search had now covered "close to 400 square kilometres" and that it was now "highly unlikely" any debris from the plane would now be found.

Royal Navy submarine ends role in hunt MH370

Royal Navy submarine HMS Tireless has concluded its contribution to the search for the black box of missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

Working alongside the survey ship HMS Echo, Tireless played an important role in the hunt for the black box signal by using its specialist sonar capabilities.

But, with the Australian command assessing there was no prospect of further acoustic detections associated with the aircraft black boxes, the submarine has been stood down.

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Families threaten hunger strikes in MH370 protest

Family members camp outside the Malaysian Embassy. Credit: Lucy Watson/ITV News

Family members of passengers on board MH370 have spent the night outside the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing in protest at the lack of technical information they've received from the Malaysian government.

Angry families are demanding answers from the Malaysian government. Credit: Lucy Watson/ITV News

They are now demanding that someone in a position of significant seniority holds a meeting with them, and answers their questions.

Some of them are also threatening to go on hunger strike.

Australian official: Beach debris 'not from MH370'

Australia's transport safety chief has said he is confident debris picked up on a Western Australian beach this week had not come from the missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370.

Australian Transport Safety Bureau Chief Commissioner Martin Dolan told Australian Broadcasting Corp Radio that he was looking at detailed photographs of the debris taken by the police, the Reuters news agency reported.

International team to 'evaluate disappearance of MH370'

Malaysia's cabinet have approved the appointment of an international team to investigate the disappearance of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, the country's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said.

"The main purpose of the international investigation team is to evaluate, investigate and determine the actual cause of the accident so similar accidents could be avoided in the future," Hishammuddin told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

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