(RNN) - Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Centre announced Thursday that Bluefin-21's search in the targeted area off the coast of Australia has concluded, and "in its professional judgement, the area can now be discounted as the final resting place of MH370."
The Bluefin-21 had been searching an area in the southern Indian Ocean for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, where pings had been detected in early April.
The underwater drone had scoured more than 850 kilometers of ocean based on the acoustic signals.
The jet has been missing since March 8, with 239 aboard. It took off from Malaysia en route to Beijing, China. Despite an extensive, multinational search, no trace of the plane has yet been found.
Raw satellite data from the search was just made available Tuesday. Experts used that information to determine that the plane was diverted south, well off its intended course.
The Australian government advised that the search for the jet continues, with a bathymetric survery of the sea floor ongoing.
The experts are also scouring the satellite and other relevant information to determine a search area along the southern arc of about 60,000 square kilometers in the southern Indian Ocean where the plane is thought to have gone down, as well as contracting underwater search specialists.
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Thursday, October 19 2017 11:31 AM EDT2017-10-19 15:31:38 GMT
Thursday, October 19 2017 3:32 PM EDT2017-10-19 19:32:24 GMT
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