TODAY   |  April 15, 2014

Flight 370 search sub aborts mission

The mini-submarine searching for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight was forced to abandon its first mission because the area was too deep. NBC’s Katy Tur reports.

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>>> well, there's some new developments this morning in the hunt for malaysia air flight 370. crews are now using this robotic submarine to scan the search area, but this morning, that work is proving to be trickier than officials first believed. nbc's katy tur is in perth, australia, again for us this morning. katy, good morning.

>> reporter: hey there, savannah. not a good start at all. six hours into what should have been a 16-hour scan, blue fin 21 aborted its mission, sending itself back up to the surface. so what happened? officials say that it just got down too deep, past its capacity. officials believe around there, it's three miles down, which is the same capacity as bluefin-21. it's supposed to scan the ocean floor about 100 feet above it. they think that it just encountered something that was deeper than that. remember, the indian ocean at this area is largely uncharted and unknown, so they're going to hit some anomalies. still, they analyzed the data that bluefin-21 was able to collect and found that nothing was there. not encouraging news at all. and when you're not getting any encouraging news from the search, you're going to start getting infighting and finger pointing and that's what we're seeing right now. "the new york times" came out with a report today that cited an unnamed senior defense official that said the chinese were hurting this as much as they were helping it. the chinese denied this rorkt s -- report saying it's unfounded, not grounded at all. not what you want to be hearing when you're talking about a missing airliner. savannah?