MISSING JET: 122 POTENTIAL OBJECTS SPOTTED
A satellite has spotted 122 ‘potential objects’ in the southern Indian Ocean in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.
The objects measured between one metre and 23 metres in length and were identified about 1,500 miles off the coast of Perth in western Australia. Some appeared to be bright, according to Malaysian officials.
The items were captured in satellite images from French company Airbus which were taken on Sunday March 23.
Malaysian investigators received the pictures on Tuesday and after analysing them, they identified 122 possible objects in an area measuring around 155 square miles. The findings were then forwarded to the Australian search command centre.
At the moment, it is not known if the objects were connected to missing flight MH370, which disappeared more than two weeks ago on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.
It means there have now been four separate satellite leads from Australia, China, and France, showing possible debris.
The search area has now been split into two – west and east – with six planes from Australia, the US, New Zealand, China, Japan and South Korea, scouring each. Two ships also joined the search operation.
Malaysia’s acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told a news conference: “Our determination to find MH370 remains steadfast.
“As we have said all along, we will never give up trying to find the plane – in order to bring closure for the families, and to establish exactly what happened to MH370.”
On the latest satellite images he said: “It must be emphasised that we cannot tell whether the potential objects are from MH370.”
But he added they were “the most credible lead we have”.
He also announced an international working group was being set up aimed at refining the data provided by the UK satellite firm Inmarsat, which helped narrow the search for MH370, with a view to more accurately pinpoint the final position of the plane.
Earlier, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said: “We are throwing everything we have at this search. We are just going to keep on looking because we owe it to people to do everything we can to resolve this riddle. This is about the most inaccessible spot imaginable. It’s thousands of kilometres from anywhere.”