Authorities say the seabed search for the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370n jet is set to widen as a sonar scan of the most likely crash site deep beneath the Indian Ocean nears completion without yielding a clue.
The Australian search coordination centr said today that a robotic submarine had scanned 95 percent of a 310-square-kilometre search area since last week but had found nothing of interest.
The search area is a circle with a 10-kilometre radius and 4.5km deep.
The Joint Agency Coordination Centre The center said the sub would begin searching outside the 10km radius if nothing was found of the plan that went missing March 8 with 239 people on board.
The Malaysian Government has promised to release the preliminary report into the disappearance of MH370.
In an exclusive interview with CNN, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak said that the Government would release the much-anticipated preliminary report “next week”.
And for the first time the Malaysians have officially confirmed that MH370 was tracked by military radar when it turned back and crossed Malaysia.
"The military radar, the primary radar has some capability. It tracked an aircraft which did a turn back, but they were not sure, exactly sure, whether it was MH370. What they were sure of was that the aircraft was not deemed to be hostile," Mr Najib said.
Asked why military jets didn’t intercept MH370 Mr Najib said the plane was not “deemed not to be hostile.”
On the critical Inmarsat satellite tracking data on which the current search is based Mr Najib said that initially he did not believe it.
“To be honest I found it hard to believe.
“It’s a bizarre scenario, which none of us could have contemplated so that’s why when I met the team...(of) foremost experts in aviation industry. I asked them again and again are you sure?”
“And their answer to me was we are as sure as we can possibly be,” Mr Najib told CNN.
Asked if he was prepared to say the plane and its passengers were lost, Mr Najib said: “On the balance of the evidence, it would be hard to imagine otherwise."
Mr Najib was also pressed on the handling of the crisis.
While noting that the disappearance is unprecedented and technically challenging Mr Najib conceded that “we didn’t get our communications right, to begin with.”
“I’m prepared to say that there are things that we did well, there are things that we didn’t do too well.”
Asked about long-lasting damage to Malaysia as a country the Malaysian Prime Minister said that “given time we can recover”.
“I believe the world will look at us and judge us in a sense that it was hugely complex matter to deal with and I think on balance we did a lot of good things and one of the biggest things we did was to put together 26 nations in the largest ever search operation conducted during peace time and that’s a huge success for Malaysia.”
“Admittedly, we made some mistakes. There were shortcomings but the world must realize that this is totally unprecedented,” Mr Najib said.