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'Oil slick not related to missing Malaysian jet'

Posted on Apr 17 2014 | IANS

Canberra, April 17 : The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) confirmed Thursday that an oil slick collected in the Southern Indian Ocean is not aircraft engine oil or hydraulic fluid.

The JACC which is heading the hunt for the missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370 said that the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield had detected an oil slick Sunday evening and had sent a sample for detailed testing and analysis, Xinhua reported.

In addition, Phoenix International, with the assistance of Bluefin-21, have assessed that there is a small but acceptable level of risk in operating the vehicle in depths in excess of 4,500 meters.

"This expansion of the operating parameters allows the Bluefin-21 to search the sea floor within the predicted limits of the current search area," the JACC said.

The JACC also stressed that it might take Bluefin-21 anywhere from six weeks to two months to scan the entire underwater search area.

"This represents the best lead we have in relation to the missing jet and where the current underwater search efforts are being pursued to their completion so we can confirm the area as the final resting place of the MH370," the JACC said.

The Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing March 8.

An international search effort for the missing plane has been underway since then.

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