Malaysia search awaits parts, topographical survey

In the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, spare parts are expected to arrive in Australia Monday for the submersible to resume scanning the Indian Ocean floor with sonar.

Searchers discovered a problem May 13 with communications between the autonomous Bluefin-21 sub and technicians on the surface ship Ocean Shield. They needed parts to fix the problem, according to the Joint Agency Coordination Center that is leading the search.

The parts are expected to arrive at Geraldton, Australia, and testing will be conducted there before the Ocean Shield returns to the search area about 1,000 miles west of Australia.

Meanwhile, officials from Malaysia, Australia and China met in Fremantle, western Australia, during the weekend to discuss the planned topographical survey of the ocean floor.

The Chinese ship Zhu Kezhen will set sail Wednesday to conduct the survey of areas suggested by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

The Boeing 777-200ER went missing March 8 with 239 people aboard the flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing. Early radar tracking, a handful of satellite signals and some pings presumed to be from the plane's recorders led the search to a remote part of the Indian Ocean, but no trace of the plane has been found yet.


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