Search Expands to Indian Ocean for Missing Jet


Authorities are expanding their search of the Missing Malaysia Airlines jet much further west after new confirmation surfaced that it kept flying long after its locator signal was turned off.

Officials say the information suggests the plane was in the air for another four to five hours after they lost contact.

The search zone has expanded yet again in what's quickly becoming the most expensive aviation investigation ever.

Still authorities have few clues about where they Malaysian Airlines plane is or why it vanished.

"If we haven't found the aircraft with all the resources that are currently searching for the aircraft by the end of the week, then it becomes a secondary question which is, how long may it take us to find the aircraft? That could be an extended period," Hugh Dunleavy, Malaysia Airlines commercial director, said.

The plane has been missing since early Saturday and aviation experts say the mounting evidence shows the plane's disappearance was most likely not an accident.

Late Thursday night ABC News quoted two unidentified American officials saying the United States believes the plane's two communication systems were shut down separately. That would mean the plane did not disappear because of some kind of mechanical failure.

The possibilities of what did happen keep growing, including the chances that a pilot wanted to commit suicide or someone with flying experience wanted to hijack the plane for a later purpose.

"An additional search area may be open in the Indian Ocean," Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary, said Thursday.

Authorities say they have several pings from the airlines service data system in the four to five hours after the last transponder signal...

That indicates the plane was still in the air, possibly putting it over the Indian Ocean rather than between Malaysia and Vietnam.

A U.S. destroyer is being moved into the Indian Ocean to begin a search in that area.

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