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Hunt for missing Malaysian plane MH370 shifts to Indian Ocean

Tuesday, 25 March 2014 - 8:55pm IST | Agency: PTI

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Angry relatives of Chinese passengers onboard the ill-fated Malaysian airliner today clashed with police outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing, accusing the government of "deception" even as the search for the wreckage of the jet has been shifted to the southern tip of the Indian Ocean after getting new data.

The Chinese government, apparently not satisfied with Malaysia's response to the tragedy, demanded that the country provide satellite date it used to conclude that the plane crashed in the southern Indian Ocean with 239 people, including 154 Chinese nationals on board.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, currently touring Europe, said a special envoy is being sent to Kuala Lumpur to deal with the matter of the missing plane. 

In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Defence Minister Hishamuddin Hussein said that the latest analysis of satellite data included a final electronic signal that was still being investigated.
Even with other communications shut down, the plane sent an automatic signal called a "ping" or a "handshake" every hour to the Inmarsat satellite.

The pings did not show the jet's location, speed or heading, but an initial analysis showed the last ping came from a position along one of two vast arcs north and south from the Malaysian Peninsula. "There is evidence of a partial handshake between the aircraft and ground station at 0019 UTC (GMT)," Hishammuddin said. "At this time, this transmission is not understood and is subject to further ongoing work."
In Beijing, grief-stricken families and friends marched to the embassy protesting the way Malaysia handled the probe and not keeping them posted on developments on the Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 that went missing on March 8.

Protesters hurled water bottles at the embassy and tried to storm the building, eyewitnesses said.

Holding placards, they shouted "Malaysian government has deceived us" and "Malaysia, return our relatives".

A day after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that the Boeing 777-200 had crashed into the southern Indian Ocean, Hishamuddin said, "All search efforts are now focused in the southern part of the southern corridor, in an area covering some 469,407 square nautical miles, as against the 2.24 million square nautical miles which we announced on March 18".

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