Hunt for MH370 nears Indian coast

Malaysian authorities have also requested for a search in the Bay of Bengal.

Written by Manu Pubby | New Delhi | Updated: March 15, 2014 8:07 am
A woman cries as she leaves from a room setup for relatives of Chinese passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at a hotel in Beijing. (AP) A woman cries as she leaves from a room setup for relatives of Chinese passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at a hotel in Beijing. (AP)

The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 reached closer to the Indian mainland Friday with defence forces focusing their efforts on a new strip in the Bay of Bengal following a request from Malaysian authorities, amid indications the aircraft flew for several hours before disappearing from satellite contact.

The new area is a little more than 300 km off the Indian coastline near Chennai and assets are being deployed by the Eastern Naval Command to scan for any sign of the missing Boeing 777.

The expanse of water is about 9,000 sq km and close to the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone.

“Malaysian authorities have also requested for a search in the Bay of Bengal. This area is approximately 900 km due west of Port Blair. Its expanse is 15 km by 600 km,” defence ministry officials said.

If the missing flight is identified in this area, it could indicate that the chain of military radars on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands missed the plane as it would have had to fly over the islands to reach there.

The air defence network on the islands would have in the normal course picked up an unidentified plane. However, sources pointed out the radars there are not always switched on.

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  1. K
    Krish Nair
    Mar 15, 2014 at 5:22 am
    How ridiculous to switch off radars especially in an island far removed from the mainland! Can things get any worse?It is equally surprising that once the Malaysian authorities discovered that the plane had veered off course, how come they did not alert the Countries in that direction?
    Reply
    1. N
      Nomad
      Mar 15, 2014 at 7:01 am
      Why Radars are not always on? Is India too poor to afford to run Radars 24x7 in order to keep an eye on China and other nations?
      Reply
      1. P
        Pakawa21
        Mar 28, 2014 at 3:13 am
        No actually as per recent findings Malaysian plane turned back at 120 nautical miles from car Nicobar island, while radars at car Nicobar has a range of 70 nautical miles only. So the question is firstly how can we say that radar shall track that plane, which is not in range. this is all false allegations. do not under estimate Indian defense. We are spending more union budget to our defense then any other country in the world.
        Reply