weather icon Clear

Vessel looking for Malaysian plane lost after hitting underwater volcano

A sonar vehicle used in the search for the wreckage of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been lost after striking an underwater volcano in the southern Indian Ocean, according to search officials.

The vehicle — called a towfish — was being towed behind the Fugro Discovery, a specialist search vessel engaged in the hunt for the missing airliner, when it struck the 2,200-meter-high mud volcano Sunday, according to the Joint Agency Coordination Center, or JACC.

As a result, the towfish’s cable broke, sending the vehicle and 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles) of cable to the ocean floor.

The JACC, an Australian government agency created to coordinate search efforts for MH370, said that no crew members were injured.

It was believed the towfish, which scans the ocean floor, could be recovered, the JACC said in a statement.

The Fugro Discovery was returning to Fremantle, Western Australia, where a replacement cable could be installed, while crew members readied a spare towfish for use, the statement said. It was expected to reach Fremantle in five days.

The Australian Transport and Safety Bureau, the national transport safety investigator, said in a statement that it would take about 12 days for the vessel to return to the previous search location. Searching the entire search area was still expected to take until mid-2017, it said.

Efforts to find the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines flight have continued ever since it disappeared with 239 people on board during a journey from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing in March 2014.

Last July, airplane debris was found on the shores of the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean that French investigators subsequently confirmed had come from the vanished flight.

Thai and Malaysian officials are investigating whether a large piece of curved metal found by a fisherman on the southern Thai coast on Friday could be from the aircraft.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
US wasted no time getting El Chapo to supermax prison

A lawyer says authorities have wasted no time in sending the convicted Mexican drug lord known as El Chapo to an ultra-high-security prison where he will serve a life sentence.

House-approved $15 minimum wage has little chance in Senate

House Democrats approved legislation Thursday to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade, to $15 an hour, but the bill has almost no chance in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Rural Ohio county staggers from impact of opioid influx

The numbers are staggering: An average yearly total of 107 opioid pills per resident were distributed over a seven-year period in this rural county deep in Appalachia.

G-7 finance chiefs issue stark warning about Facebook’s Libra

Finance chiefs from the Group of Seven rich democracies issued a stark warning on Thursday that cryptocurrencies like Facebook’s Libra should not be allowed before “serious regulatory and systemic concerns” are put in check.