“Went from a chess board to a football field,” search area for missing Malaysian flight expands

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INDIAN OCEAN (CNN) – Officials say the search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is now expanding.

The search originally started in the sea between Malaysia and Vietnam, which was the plane’s last confirmed location.

Now, crews are starting to search the Indian Ocean.

Cmdr. William Marks, of the U.S. 7th Fleet, said, “We went from a chess board to a football field.”

The U.S.S. Kidd is being moved into the Indian Ocean to start the search.

Hishammuddin Hussein, the Malaysian minister in charge of defense and transportation, said, “A normal investigation becomes narrower with time, I understand, as new information focuses the search. But this is not a normal investigation. In this case, the information we have forces us to look further and further afield.”

The search expanded after learning the missing airplane may have flown for several hours after its last communication.

The disappearance of the jetliner and its 239 passengers nearly a week ago has turned into one of the biggest mysteries in recent memory.

Authorities say they still don’t know where it could be or what caused it to vanish.

Marks said, “I, like most of the world, really have never seen anything like this.”

Some believe the plane was hijacked, or that the pilot was coerced, but the Malaysian government hasn’t found any information related to that theory.

Also, Chinese researchers say they recorded a “seafloor event” in waters around Malaysia and Vietnam about an hour after the plane lost contact.

Other authorities believe signals transmitted to satellites in the four to five hours after the last transponder reading may have been from the plane.

That theory suggests the plane made it to the Indian Ocean, which is in the opposite direction of the plane’s original route.

Sources told CNN, “There is probably a significant likelihood” the aircraft is at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.

At this point, everything is still speculation until any significant evidence is found.