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Australian PM vows to continue lost jet search

Posted on Mar 31 2014 | IANS

Perth/Canberra, March 31 : Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Monday that there is no time limit on the search for the lost Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, and that the magnitude of the operation "is increasing".

Speaking at a press conference at the Pearce Air Force Base, he pledged to get to the bottom of the MH370 mystery, saying that if it is solvable "we will solve it", according to Xinhua.

Australia is working with all available resources on possible leads in the search, said Abbott, adding the country has brought "the best brains" to the mission.

Australia's defence minister David Johnston said there are 100 people in the air, and 1,000 at sea scouring the new search area in the southern Indian Ocean, 1,850 km west of Perth.

Morale is high, Abbott told reporters, adding the magnitude of the search "is increasing, not decreasing".

The search operation for the lost jet resumed Monday with the deployment of 10 aircraft, said the Australian Maritime Safety Autghority (AMSA).

"A total of 10 ships have also been tasked to today's (Monday's) search. This includes HMAS Success and HMAS Toowoomba, seven Chinese ships and a merchant vessel," the AMSA statement said.

The ADV Ocean Shield is scheduled to depart from Perth Monday, it said, adding that it has now been fitted with a black box detector and an autonomous underwater vehicle.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished mysteriously about an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur March 8.

The Boeing 777-200ER was scheduled to land in Beijing the same day. The 226 passengers on board included five Indians, 154 Chinese and 38 Malaysians.

The plane lost contact along with its radar signal when it was flying over the air traffic control area of Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City.

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