Malaysia Says Search For Downed Plane To Shift To Smaller Area - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Malaysia Says Search For Downed Plane To Shift To Smaller Area In South Indian Ocean

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Malaysia says it has narrowed the search for a downed jetliner to an area the size of Alaska in the southern Indian Ocean.
    
The comments from the country's defense minister come a day after the prime minister announced that a new analysis of satellite data confirmed the plane had crashed in a remote part of the southern Indian Ocean, killing all 239 aboard.
    
The new search area is 622,000 square miles, just 20 percent of the area that was previously being searched. But searchers still face a daunting task of combing a vast expanse of choppy seas for suspected remnants of the aircraft sighted earlier. Australia's deputy defense chief says the task is "not searching for a needle in a haystack," but "trying to define where the haystack is."
    
Gale-force winds, heavy rain and swelling seas brought the search to a halt today, but Australia says improved weather should allow the hunt for possible debris from the plane to resume Wednesday.
    

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