Berlin, Sep 1 (IANS) The crash site of Malaysian Airline’ s MH370 plane could be in the eastern equatorial Indian Ocean, more northerly than previously thought, German marine researchers said in Kiel on Tuesday.

A search in the eastern Indian Ocean for the debris of the missing Malaysian Airline’s MH370 plane for the past 16 months, however, ended without discoveries, Xinhua reported.

After a piece of wing flap was found on the island of Reunion a few weeks ago, marine researchers from Kiel tried to trace the trail of the suspected aircraft component which could belong to the missing Boeing aircraft.

Scientists from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel used an ocean model combined with observational data for their drift analyzes. It provides daily updated data in order to determine the possible origin of the wing flap.

Kiel’s researchers have traced almost two million virtual particles over a period of 16 months.

“From this, we calculated once per month the likely whereabouts of the particles,” said Jonathan Durgadoo.

The recalculation using the virtual particles showed a very large area in the eastern equatorial Indian Ocean as the most likely area of origin from which the wreckage could be.

It is located to west of Sumatra and Java, about 6,000 km away from the French island of Reunion, according to Kiel’s marine researchers.

“Our results show that the current focus of searching at south- west of Australia could be too far south,” said Durgadoo.

The Malaysian Airline flight went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, with 227 passengers and 12 crew onboard. It was believed to have crashed into the Southern Indian Ocean.