Malaysia to release plane investigation report

Ground staff take a break under a Malaysia Airlines plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, March 9, 2014. An international fleet of planes and ships scouted the waters between Malaysia and Vietnam for any clues to the fate of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, which disappeared less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing on Saturday, March 8. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
Ground staff take a break under a Malaysia Airlines plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, March 9, 2014. An international fleet of planes and ships scouted the waters between Malaysia and Vietnam for any clues to the fate of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, which disappeared less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing on Saturday, March 8. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia says it will release a preliminary report of its investigation into Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on Thursday, more than seven weeks after the plane vanished with 239 people on board.

Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the report will be similar to the one the government sent to the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The Boeing 777 jet disappeared March 8 while traveling from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing. Officials are still searching for the plane, which is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

Radar and satellite data show the jet veered far off course for unknown reasons. An analysis indicates it would have run out of fuel in the ocean off western Australia where a massive multinational hunt has been focused, but not one piece of confirmed debris has been found.

The air search for the plane was called off this week.

Hishammuddin, who is also acting transport minister, said he will go to Australia next week to discuss the next phase of the search, a greatly expanded underwater hunt, and the cost involved.

The head of the Australian agency leading the search has predicted that the search could drag on for as long as a year.

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