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TODAY   |  March 14, 2014

Flight 370 search expands into Indian Ocean

The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has expanded to the Indian Ocean. Meanwhile, there is a report of a seismic event on the ocean floor, near the plane’s last known location. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.

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>> to our top story. a full week into the search, a lot of questions remaining. the potential flight zone is now enormous. tom costello has been covering the story from the beginning.

>> a lot of questions, not much concrete. there is a chinese report out this morning there was some sort of deep ocean event, almost a s seismic event. that was almost 30 minutes after the plane was known to go off location. the last data burst from the plane came in from an automated maintenance report. and then, we have been seeing this original search zone where the plane was last known to have had contact, that's on the theory that the plane made this u-turn as you know and now with the data suggesting this plane could have been flying for up to five more hours because they have pings on the plane suggesting it was, that's 2500 more miles this plane could have been flying, so this plane throughout the entire indian ocean , throughout the entire world, could have been flying anywhere. this is video of the malaysian airlines plane that is now missing, flying into los angeles last october. now, a week after it disappeared in southeast asia , u.s. government sources say the plane continued transmitting a ping to an orbiting satellite hours after going off radar and cutting communications. investigators say it's increasingly likely that the plane did double back, making a left hand turn flying over malays malaysia, the strait of malacca, possibly staying airborne for another four to five hours. that means the plane could have been traveled up to 2500 miles in any direction, a vast expanse of the globe that included the indian ocean . but who was piloting the plane and where were they going? this morning, authorities say anything is possible.

>> there's been a lot of media speculation today after comments from unnamed u.s. officials suggested the plane may have traveled for some time after losing contact. as is standard procedure, the investigation team will not publicly release information until it has properly been verified and corroborated with authorities.

>> with evidence building, the plane may well have flown west. the uss kid is moving through while planes and choppers probe the ocean.

>> based on new information that's not necessarily conclusive, an additional search area may be opening in the indian ocean .

>> what no one knows is whether the plane experienced a catastrophic mechanical breakdown, a hijacking or whether a member of the crew come deered the plane. we wanted to show you this map one more time. the notion this plane could have flown into a huge zone, 2500 miles in any direction. from china down to australia, all the way out into the vast indian ocean . 57 ships, 48 aircraft from 13 countries are now involved in this search and the search goes on. there's a report this morning that the plane may have been sending some sort of a location signal as it was pinging, but that report's not confirmed. back to you.

>> if the engines on that plane were sending out signals four, perhaps five hours after the last known contact with the flight, does it take investigators away way from some kind of catastrophic event ?

>> first of all, they don't think it was the engine sending these signals. it was coming from the automated maintenance system and it was quite literally pinging the satellite as if to say, i'm here, i'm here, but not transmitting data. if that's true, if this plane with was still transmitting data, absolutely, that would take the theory away and more towards the notion of something more sinister, but if that's not true, we are still left with the possibility that this plane may have suffered a cataclysmic event.

>> thanks.