Updated: 04/19/2014 16:01 | By Agence France-Presse

MH370 search at 'critical juncture'

The effort to find missing flight MH370 is at a "very critical juncture", Malaysia's transport minister said Saturday as authorities mull whether to reassess a challenging search of the Indian Ocean seabed that has so far found nothing.


MH370 search at 'critical juncture'

Malaysian Minister of Defence and Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein leaves after speaking at a press conference at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur on April 19, 2014 - by Mohd Rasfan

"The search for today and tomorrow is at a very critical juncture. So I appeal for everybody around the world to pray and pray hard that we find something to work on," Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said.

The jet is believed to have crashed in deep and remote waters far off Western Australia.

But with no results from the multi-national search operation for the Boeing 777, which vanished on March 8 carrying 239 people, Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Thursday set a one-week deadline to locate the plane by mini-submarine.

The Australian-led search effort is relying on a single US Navy submersible sonar scanning device to scour an uncharted seabed at depths of around 4,500 metres (15,000 feet) or more.

Technical hitches, including the fact that the torpedo-shaped Bluefin-21 is operating at the extent of its depth limit, made for a slow start to the search.

Launched from an Australian naval vessel, the device has so far made six deep-sea scanning runs but has detected nothing.

"We have pursued every possible lead presented to us at this stage, and with every passing day the search has become more difficult," Hishammuddin, who is heading up the Malaysian government's response to MH370, told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

As the search and rescue effort expected to be the costliest in aviation history wears on, authorities have indicated alternative methods may be needed, including possibly deeper-diving devices. 

Hishammuddin said adjustments "may include widening the scope of the search and utilising other assets that could be relevant in the search operation", but he stressed the search would not be abandoned.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。