Malaysia jet search flights called off due to severe weather

PERTH Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:31am EDT

PERTH (Reuters) - Aircraft searches for a Malaysia jetliner presumed crashed in the southern Indian Ocean have been called off for Thursday due to bad weather, a U.S. Navy officer told Reuters.

"The forecast in the area was calling for severe icing, severe turbulence and near zero visibility," said Lieutenant Commander Adam Schantz, the officer in charge of the U.S. Navy Poseidon P8 aircraft detachment.

"Anybody who's out there is coming home and all additional sorties from here are canceled."

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority confirmed flights had been canceled due to the weather.

(Reporting by Matt Siegel; Editing by Alex Richardson)