Authorities continue to search the Indian Ocean and surrounding regions for the Malaysia Airlines flight which disappeared from radar on Saturday. Today officials expanded their search to the west to cover more ocean closer to India. Officials say it’s possible that the airline remained in the air for several more hours after it was last in contact with flight controllers on the ground.

Malaysia Airlines

Looking for a needle in a haystack

CBS News reports that there are now technical indications which suggest that the plane’s engines could have continued to operate for quite some time after its transponder lost contact with the ground. A military radar track offers some possibilities which indicate that the airplane could have been flying for quite some time, which means searchers may have been looking in the wrong place all this time.

U.S. officials said new information suggests that the plane could have ended up somewhere in the Indian Ocean. However, they have not identified the source of that new information and are trying to decide which assets to deploy to the region.

Malaysian searchers see nothing

Officials with the Malaysian government say Chinese satellite images suggested that there were three floating objects off the coast of southern Vietnam. However, search planes which were deployed to the area did not find anything but ocean there. The Chinese Embassy later notified them to say that the images were released accidentally and that they didn’t show any of the debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.

The flight was heading for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur and was flying into the South China Sea when it suddenly disappeared from radar. CBS News cites sources who said the NTSB has validated military radar records from the Malaysian government and decided to expand the search efforts into the Strait of Malacca. Meanwhile, the U.S. is shifting the USS Kidd to the western side of the Malaysian peninsula, and the USS Pinckney is heading into Singapore to be repaired.