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Raw: Officials Seek to Narrow Search for Plane

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News,World,Transportation,Air Travel,Malaysia Airlines Disaster

Malaysian authorities say the number of countries involved in the search for the missing jetliner has increased to 25. (March 16)

SHOTLIST:

AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - 16 March 2014

SOUNDBITE (English) Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Malaysian Acting Transport Minister:

"As the prime minister said yesterday, the operation has entered a new phase. The search was already a highly complex multinational effort, and has now become more difficult. The search area has been significantly expanded, and the nature of the search has changed from focusing mainly on shallow seas, we are now lookin at large tracts of land crossing 11 countries as well as deep and remote oceans. The number of countries involved in the search and rescue operation has increased from 14 to 25, which brings new challenges of coordination and diplomacy to the search effort. This is a significant recalibration of the search."

SOUNDBITE (English) Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Malaysian Acting Transport Minister:

"This is an unprecedented case. What we are going through here, ladies and gentlemen, is being monitored across the world, and it may change aviation history. I think there's lessons to be learned by everybody."

SOUNDBITE (English) Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Malaysian Acting Transport Minister:

"The information that has been revealed yesterday, covers a huge ground. And it is our hope that with that new information, parties that can be of assistance to us can come forward and help us narrow the search to an area that is much more feasible, and that's what we've been doing since last night. Thank you."

STORYLINE:

Malaysian authorities say the number of countries involved in the search for the missing jetliner has increased to 25.

Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Sunday that 11 more countries joined the search after it was determined that the missing Malaysia Airlines plane may have gone as far north as Central Asia, flying over several countries.

He also said authorities were hoping for more satellite data that would narrow the search, which also includes the Indian Ocean.

Meanwhile, police chief Inspector General Khalid Abu Bakar said he had requested countries with citizens on board the plane to investigate their background. He said some had already done this and found nothing suspicious, but he was waiting for others to respond.

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