The Bluefin-21, an underwater drone searching the depths of the southern Indian Ocean for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, came up empty-handed after completing a search of more than two-thirds of the designated search after its eighth mission Monday, Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre, or JACC, said in a statement, even as another Malaysia Airlines plane made an emergency landing Monday.
According to the statement, the search area was limited to a 10-kilometer radius around the signals heard on April 8. Earlier reports had said, citing government officials, that Malaysia is preparing to issue death certificates for the people on board the plane, which went missing March 8 with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, and that officials would discuss offering financial assistance to relatives of the missing passengers. Tropical Cyclone Jack could increase the chance of wind and rains in the region, and further complicate the search, the JACC statement said.
Kim Beazley, Australia’s ambassador to the U.S., had reportedly told CNN on Saturday that search operations for the missing plane could be modified, including the use of other underwater search equipment, “if nothing is found in the next few days.”
On Monday, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH192 to Bangalore, India, was forced to return to, and make an emergency landing, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport about four hours after take-off. BBC reported, citing the airline, that the Boeing 737-800’s landing gear had malfunctioned and a tire had burst, and cited passengers as saying that the emergency landing was “calm” and “smooth.”
According to a Xinhua report, Malaysia’s acting transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein demanded a quick report from the airline about the incident.
“I give them two days. On Wednesday, I want to see an early report as this is not something like MH370 that is missing in the Indian Ocean, it is related to the condition of the tyres (of the landing gear),” he reportedly said.