KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Malaysia's civil aviation chief says no signs of the missing Malaysian jetliner have been found at a location where Chinese satellite images have shown what might be plane debris.
Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman says planes searched the location Thursday. "There is nothing. We went there, there is nothing," he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.
Vietnamese officials previously said the area had already been "searched thoroughly" in recent days.
The hunt for the Boeing 777 has been punctuated by false leads since it disappeared with 239 people aboard just hours after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday.
The plane was heading east over the South China Sea when it disappeared, but authorities believe it may have turned back and headed into the upper reaches of the Malacca Strait or beyond.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that U.S. investigators suspect the missing Malaysian jetliner flew on for four hours once it lost contact with air traffic controllers.
The suspicion is based on data from the plane's engines that are automatically downloaded and transmitted to the ground as part of routine maintenance programs.
The report raises questions as to why the Boeing 777 was flying like that, and if anyone was in control during that time.
Investigators have not ruled out any possible cause to explain the disappearance of the plane and the 239 people on board.