US zeroes in on Indian Ocean to find missing MH370

US zeroes in on Indian Ocean to find missing MH370
A military officer works on a map onboard a Royal Malaysian Air Force CN235 aircraft during a Search and Rescue (SAR) operation to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, in the Straits of Malacca March 13, 2014.

PETALING JAYA - A new search area in the Indian Ocean has raised hopes of finding the missing MH370 with the Pentagon confirming that new evidence has emerged. 

A Pentagon official told The Star that the US was opening a new area of investigation following indications that the Boeing 777-200ER could have gone down there.

When contacted at 2am on Friday, the official said he had no knowledge of whether missile destroyer USS Kidd was heading there for search operations.

"The White House press secretary has just said that we may open a search in the Indian Ocean," he said.

He said this when asked to confirm a report by ABC News, which reported that US officials had an "indication" that the missing Malaysia Airlines plane may have crashed in the Indian Ocean and was moving the USS Kidd to the area to begin searching.

The report quoted a senior Pentagon official as saying that it will take another 24 hours to move the ship into position.

Reuters reported that White House spokesman Jay Carney said they had new information on the whereabouts of the plane.

"It's my understanding that based on some new information that's not necessarily conclusive - but new information - an additional search area may be opened in the Indian Ocean.

"And we are consulting with international partners about the appropriate assets to deploy." he said.

In the transcript of the White House's latest press briefing on its website, Carney said it was still too early to draw any conclusions from the ongoing investigations on the missing plane.

"Conclusions cannot be drawn at this time, in our view, and we continue to participate actively in the search as well as assist the Malaysian government in the investigation.

"I can remind you if you need to know of the assets that we've sent to the region, including aircraft and helicopters and two destroyers that are a part of the effort of the search underway.

"But when it comes to conclusions from that investigation, it's too early to draw any, in our view," he said.

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