Hishammuddin Hussein (C) attends a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 7, 2014.
The hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is at a “critical juncture”, Malaysia’s defense minister Hishammuddin Hussein said yesterday, six weeks after the plane mysteriously disappeared with 239 people onboard.
“It is my understanding that the search effort is entering a critical stage in the next 48 hours,” Hishammuddin was quoted as saying in Malaysia’s The Star newspaper.
“Whatever happens in that period, we will then regroup and discuss our next move,” he added. “I appeal to everyone around the world to pray and pray hard that we find something to work on in the next couple of days.”
Meanwhile, a robotic submarine that has been scouring the seafloor for possible MH370 wreckage was deployed for its seventh mission to the bottom of the Indian Ocean, according to a press release from the search coordination center:
Overnight Bluefin-21 AUV completed mission six in the underwater search area. Bluefin-21 has searched approximately 133 square kilometres to date. Data from the sixth mission is currently under analysis. No contacts of interest have been found to date.
Bluefin-21 AUV’s seventh mission has commenced. The weather forecast for today is isolated showers and south easterly winds.
Hishammuddin also denied reports that Bluefin-21 would take six to eight weeks to complete the search to map out unidentified areas on the seafloor.
“This is incorrect. The immediate search area that the Bluefin-21 is now scouring should be completed within the next week,” he said.
[Image via Xinhua]