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MH370: Ocean area where pings detected not crash site, says JACC

PETALING JAYA: The area in the southern Indian Ocean where acoustic signals were detected in early April has been ruled out as the "final resting place" of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

"The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has advised that the search in the vicinity of the acoustic detections can now be considered complete and in its professional judgement, the area can now be discounted as the final resting place of MH370," said the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) in a media statement on Thursday.

JACC said the Bluefin-21 completed its last search mission the remaining areas in the vicinity of the acoustic signals on Wednesday.

The data collected had been analysed and no signs of aircraft debris have been found by the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle since it joined the search effort, it said.

JACC said Bluefin-21 has scoured over 850 square kilometres of the ocean floor looking for signs of the missing aircraft, since it joined the search.

The search for MH370 now involves reviewing all existing information, conducting a bathymetric survey to map the sea floor and acquiring the specialist services required for a comprehensive search of the sea floor.

JACC added the expert satellite working group continues to review and refine complex analyses of radar and satellite data and aircraft performance data to determine where the aircraft most likely entered the water.

It said the ATSB will shortly release a formal request for tender to source the capability to undertake the underwater search.

"A single prime contractor will be chosen to bring together and manage  the expertise, equipment and vessels to carry out the search." 

The request for tender will be done via AusTender, the Australian Government Tender System:

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