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Missing Malaysian plane may have turned south earlier, authorities said

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Searchers scan the Indian Ocean on April 9 during search for MH 370 in this file photo. (Source: Australian Maritime Safety Authority/CNN) Searchers scan the Indian Ocean on April 9 during search for MH 370 in this file photo. (Source: Australian Maritime Safety Authority/CNN)
The search for MH370, missing since March, continues in the south Indian Ocean. (Source: CNN) The search for MH370, missing since March, continues in the south Indian Ocean. (Source: CNN)

CANBERRA, Australia (CNN) - There is new information on the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and where the lost plane might be now.

Authorities say the plane may have turned south earlier than previously thought, based on new analysis of data from a failed satellite phone call to the plane, made by ground staff after they lost radio contact.

In a Thursday morning news conference, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said the search area remains focused on the southern Indian Ocean.

"After MH370 disappeared from the radar, Malaysian Airlines ground staff sought to make contact with the aircraft using satellite phone," he said. "Now that was unsuccessful, but the detailed research that's being done now has been able to identify, or trace, that phone call and helped position the aircraft and the direction it was traveling. ... They have been able, through this examination, to be able to get a better position for the aircraft and the direction it was traveling."

For months, investigators have been pouring over satellite and radar data to determine the doomed plane's flight path.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished on March 8 during a trip from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing.

Since then, searchers have found no trace of the aircraft or anyone on board.

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