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Malaysian Air Jet Search Zone Widens as Submarine Comes Up Empty

Relatives of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Passengers
A man looks at a bulletin board while another speaks on the phone as Chinese relatives of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have a meeting at the Metro Park Hotel in Beijing on April 23, 2014. Photographer: Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

The search for missing Malaysian Air Flight 370 widened after an unmanned submarine failed to find any wreckage.

The Bluefin-21 submersible will today scour beyond a circle that was centered on signals detected earlier this month, Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre said in a statement. The subsea search of the southern Indian Ocean has so far yielded no leads, JACC said.

While the subsea mission continued today, worsening weather halted air and surface hunts as investigators weighed how to prolong the search for the aircraft, which vanished March 8 with 239 people on its way to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.

U.K. submarine HMS Tireless, which had specialist sonar capabilities, last week left the search zone. The Malaysian Airline System Bhd. flight’s data recorders, designed to emit regular pings, had a battery life of only about 30 days.

Bluefin-21 has so far focused on an area within a 10 kilometer radius based on acoustic pings heard on April 8. The search zone is about 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) northwest of Perth, Australia.

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