MH370 search finds 19th century shipwreck deep in ocean

Steel/iron vessel discovered in Indian Ocean – but no sign of plane with 239 on board

An Australian Transport Safety Bureau picture shows a shipwreck uncovered on the southern Indian Ocean floor during the search for missing flight MH370.  According to experts, the wreck is likely to be a steel/iron vessel dating from the turn of the 19th century. Photograph: EPA/ATSB

An Australian Transport Safety Bureau picture shows a shipwreck uncovered on the southern Indian Ocean floor during the search for missing flight MH370. According to experts, the wreck is likely to be a steel/iron vessel dating from the turn of the 19th century. Photograph: EPA/ATSB

 

The search for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane in the Indian Ocean has turned up the second centuries-old shipwreck but no sign of the aircraft which disappeared with 239 passengers and crew nearly two years ago, searchers said on Wednesday.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went missing during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8th, 2014.

Last May searchers found the wreckage of what was believed to be a 19th-century cargo ship and now sonar imagery has identified what is likely to be a second shipwreck, a steel/iron vessel dating from the turn of the 19th century, according to Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) – the agency overseeing the effort. It was discovered 3.7km down in the southern Indian Ocean.

The Australian-led underwater search, the most expensive ever conducted, is expected to be completed by the middle of 2016, having scoured more than half of a planned 120,000 sq km of seafloor, the JACC said, ruling out any expansion of the search without new leads.

“In the absence of credible new information that leads to the identification of a specific location of the aircraft, governments have agreed that there will be no further expansion of the search area,” the JACC said in a statement.

The search has focused on a remote part of southern Indian Ocean, where the plane is widely believed to have gone down.

A piece of the plane found washed up on the French island of Reunion in July 2015 provided the first direct evidence that the plane had crashed into the sea. No further trace has been found.

Reuters