Analysis of electronic pulses picked up from a missing Malaysian airliner shows it could have run out of fuel and crashed into the Indian Ocean after it flew hundreds of miles off course, a source familiar with official US assessments said on Friday.

The source, who is familiar with data the US government is receiving from the investigation into the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines plane, said the other, but less likely possibility, was that it flew on toward India.

The data obtained from pulses the plane sent to satellites had been interpreted to provide two different analyses because it was ambiguous, said the source, who declined to be identified because of the ongoing investigation.

But it offers the first real clues as to the fate of Flight MH370, which officials increasingly believe was deliberately diverted off its scheduled course from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

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