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Private firm says it has found wreckage

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 5:51 p.m.
 

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — The countries searching for the missing Malaysian jet are assessing a claim by a resource survey company that it found possible plane wreckage in the northern Bay of Bengal, Malaysia's defense minister said on Tuesday.

The location is far from where the underwater and surface search has been concentrated for weeks. Australia-based GeoResonance Pty Ltd. stressed that it is not certain it found the Malaysia Airlines plane missing since March 8, but it called for its findings to be investigated.

The company uses imaging, radiation chemistry and other technologies to search for oil, gas or mineral deposits. In hunting for Flight 370, it used the same technology to look on the ocean floor for chemical elements that would be present in a Boeing 777: aluminum, titanium, jet fuel residue and others.

GeoResonance compared multispectral images taken March 5 and 10 — before and after the plane's disappearance — and found a specific area where the data varied between those dates, it said in a statement. The location is about 120 miles south of Bangladesh.

Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said China and Australia were aware of the announcement.

“There have been too many speculations out there. ... It is impossible to entertain them all,” Hussein said. “However, the search mission is still ongoing and the status quo remains.”

GeoResonance said it began trying to find the plane before the official search area moved to the southern Indian Ocean. “The only motivation is to help the families of the missing passengers and crew, knowing the company has the technology capable of the task,” it said.

Flight 370 was carrying 239 passengers and crew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it disappeared the morning of March 8.

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