Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Trash Cleaners Cast Doubt on Missing Plane’s Search Location

March 20, 2015 Updated: July 18, 2015

Volunteers who have been cleaning a 60-mile stretch of the Tasmanian coast in Australia said they haven’t seen a single piece of debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared in March 2014.

They have gathered about 80,000 pieces of trash from the beach, but they stressed none came from the plane.

Authorities are searching a swath of the southern Indian Ocean, located hundreds of miles from the coast of Perth, located in Western Australia.

Some of the debris drifted 6,000 miles across the Indian Ocean from as far away as Madagascar and South Africa, they noted, according to MailOnline.

There has been speculation that officials are searching the wrong area for MH17.

“We found a roll of tape from Madagascar that’s from a vanilla bean manufacturer,” expedition leader Matt Dell was quoted by the Malaysian Insider as saying. “We found a bit of stuff from Africa washing around. We found a drift card from Durban (South Africa) that’s like a fish tag – oh, and a set of dolls’ plastic shoes.”

The plane disappeared as it was heading from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014 with 239 people on board.

According to the Australia Transport Safety Bureau, which is overseeing the search, “around 50 percent of the priority search area has been searched.”

“Assuming no significant delays with vessels, equipment or from the weather, the current underwater search area may be largely completed around May 2015,” the update says.

An independent investigator this week said he is going to make an effort to probe into the whereabouts of MH370.

John E. Fiorentino, the investigator, told the Insider that he obtained support former board member of the National Transport Safety Board to investigate.

“I am currently soliciting a select few expert individuals who would be interested in adding their names to my proposal which would seek to formulate an independent inquiry into flight MH370 with continuing deep sea search efforts,” he said. “This endeavor will be neither simple nor cheap and I have entered into this proposition with that full realisation,” added Fiorentino in a statement.