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Malaysia assessing possible plane wreckage claim

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — The countries searching for the missing Malaysian jet are assessing a claim by a resource survey company that it found possible plane wreckage in the northern Bay of Bengal, Malaysia’s defense minister said Tuesday.

The location is far from where the underwater and surface search has been concentrated for weeks. Australia-based GeoResonance Pty Ltd. stressed that it is not certain it found the Malaysia Airlines plane missing since March 8, but it called for its findings to be investigated.

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The company uses imaging, radiation chemistry, and other technologies to search for oil, gas, or mineral deposits. In hunting for Flight 370, it used the same technology to look on the ocean floor for chemical elements that would be present in a Boeing 777: aluminum, titanium, jet fuel residue, and others.

GeoResonance compared multispectral images taken March 5 and 10 — before and after the plane’s disappearance — and found a specific area where the data varied between those dates, it said. The location is about 118 miles south of Bangladesh.

Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said China and Australia were aware of the announcement. ‘‘Malaysia is working with its international partners to assess the credibility of this information,’’ a statement from his office said.

GeoResonance said it began trying to find the plane before the official search area moved to the southern Indian Ocean.

Flight 370 was carrying 239 passengers and crew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it disappeared March 8. India, Bangladesh, and other countries to the north have said they never detected the plane in their airspace.

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