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A call for prayers as search for flight MH370 reaches 'critical juncture'

Malaysia’s transportation minister has asked people to support the search for a missing passenger jet by offering their prayers. Officials say the search for the Boeing 777 is at a ‘critical juncture.’

Tranportation Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday that if the search for missing flight MH370 didn't find any wreckage over the next couple of days, officials could reassess how to move forward.

"The search for today and tomorrow is at a very critical juncture. So I appeal for everybody around the world to pray and pray hard that we find something to work on," Hussein said.

He also ruled out giving up the search, despite the fact that all efforts at locating the wreckage have turned up nothing.

"I have to stress that this is not to stop operations but to also consider other approaches which may include widening the scope of the search and utilizing other assets that could be relevant in the search operation," Hussein said.

"The asset deployment committee has identified private companies that have the capabilities for deep-water salvage and recovery work, and other national assets that can be deployed to support this operation," he added.

Narrow focus

Currently the search is focused on an areas of the southern Indian Ocean sea floor that is 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) in diameter, where one of

four acoustic signals

thought to be from one of the plane's black boxes was detected on April 8.

The search is being conducted using a US Navy

deep sea autonomous underwater vehicle

(pictured above), which has been diving to a depth of around 4.5 kilometers in search of debris.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

, carrying 239 people on board, went missing while on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.

pfd/jm (Reuters, dpa, AFP)

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