Malaysia May Have Delayed Search Efforts

Did the Malaysian government sit on key search data for days?
3:00 | 03/20/14

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Transcript for Malaysia May Have Delayed Search Efforts
tonight. Did they withhold key information for days? ABC's David Kerley on that part of the story, tonight. Reporter: With dozens of search planes flying from Thailand to Indonesia for days, we learned, tonight, that the Malaysian government was provided data, it was likely looking in the wrong place for the missing 777, nearly a week before it shifted the search. Unbelievable. It's just -- such an egregious slip-up in an investigation. I can't believe it. Reporter: It was Saturday morning, March 8th, that the flight went missing. And a satellite company said pings from the jet left a trail. We can draw a plot north-to-south where people might want to look for the aircraft. Reporter: The information was given to the Malaysians. Suggesting the two, massive arcs. But also with the conclusion that all indications pointed to off of Australia, as the likely spot to find the plane. The Malaysians only shared the news of the arcs three days later. And it was two more days before Malaysia officially asked the U.S. And Australia to search the south Indian ocean. A five-day delay, while resources were used elsewhere. And that's important. Whatever wreckage was on the water, that's floated greatly away from where it was. Reporter: How critical is this? Debris, depending on the currents can use 100 to 150 miles every day in this area. The batteries on the black boxes get weaker. Of course, for the families of the missing, every hour in this search brings new heartache.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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