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MH370 Search Team Find 'Fascinating' Shipwreck - But Not The Missing Plane

13/05/2015 18:24 BST | Updated 13/05/2015 18:59 BST

Investigators searching for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 have made a "fascinating" find - but it wasn't quite what the team hoped for.

Crews began scouring the desolate waters off western Australia in the hope of finally finding the missing Boeing 777, which vanished on March 8 last year.

As teams moved into the remaining 25 percent of the original search area, they stumbled upon a wreckage 2.5 miles below the surface.

But after sending an unmanned sub into the depths of the Indian Ocean, photos now reveal that the debris came from an uncharted shipwreck, not MH370.

mh370 shipwreck

An anchor was visible (left of image) in the wreckage uncovered by the MH370 search team

Peter Foley, who heads up the team leading the search, said: “It's a fascinating find, but it's not what we're looking for."

Mr Foley, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau's director of the operational search for the lost plane, added: “We're not pausing in the search for MH370, in fact the vessels have already moved on to continue the mission.”

mh370 shipwreck

Images show the debris from the ship wreck teams found while looking for MH370

MH370 went missing while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. There were 239 people on board.

Last month, officials announced that they would expand the search area for Flight 370 by another 60,000 square kilometers (23,000 square miles) in the Indian Ocean if the plane was not found by the end of May.

Crews have now covered 75 percent of the original search area and have already moved into the southern portion of the expanded search zone to take advantage of the last dregs of decent weather before winter sets in.

mh370 shipwreck

Investigators looking for missing flight MH370 found debris from a 19th century ship

Marine archaeologists are now examining the photos, which include an image of an anchor and what appear to be lumps of coal, to see whether they can identify the ship.

The wreck is of a 19th century cargo ship, and could be one of hundreds lost during voyages across the Indian Ocean, said Michael McCarthy, a senior maritime archaeologist.

Last month, officials say the search area for MH370 would be doubled if nothing was found by the end of May.

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