World
Possible missing plane debris spotted
Publish Date: Mar 20, 2014
Possible missing plane debris spotted
A woman offers prayers in solidarity with passengers onboard missing plane during a gathering at a mall in Kuala Lumpur. PHOTO/AFP
  • mail
  • img
newvision

CANBERRA - Two objects possibly related to the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have been sighted by satellite in the remote southern Indian Ocean, Australian officials said Thursday, calling it the "best lead we have".

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the "new and credible information" had come to light nearly two weeks after the plane vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board.

An Australian air force Orion was due over the area some 2,500 kilometres (1,550 miles) southwest of the western city of Perth imminently with three more long-range surveillance planes, including from the United States and New Zealand, to follow.

A merchant ship was expected to arrive in the vicinity around 0700 GMT with Australian naval vessel HMAS Success, which is capable of retrieving the objects, some days away.

"The objects are relatively indistinct. The indication to me is of objects that are of a reasonable size and probably awash with water and bobbing up and down over the surface," said Australian Maritime Safety Authority official John Young.

"The largest... was assessed as being 24 metres. There is another one that is smaller than that.

"This is a lead, it is probably the best lead we have right now," he added.

"But we need to get there, find them, see them, assess them, to know whether it's really meaningful or not."


Journalists watch a news channel announcing the possible finding of two objects related to the missing jet at the Everly hotel in Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur. PHOTO/AFP


Pakistani Christians hold candles during a vigil for the passengers of missing plane in Islamabad. PHOTO/AFP

In the vast and remote southern Indian Ocean, he cautioned that "they will be difficult to find", with poor visibility expected as the weather deteriorates.

Abbott warned against drawing any premature conclusions.

"We must keep in mind the task of locating these objects will be extremely difficult and it may turn out that they are not related to the search for flight MH370," Abbott told parliament.

Young said it was possible the objects were containers that had fallen off ships.

"There are many steps to happen before we get to that point (getting any single piece out of the water)," he added.

"What we are looking for is a confirmation that it does belong to the aircraft, or it does not. We may get a sighting, we may not. We may get it tomorrow, we may not."

The Malaysian government believes the jet was deliberately diverted on March 8 and flew for several hours after leaving its scheduled flight path -- either north towards Central Asia, or towards the southern Indian Ocean.

Authorities in Kuala Lumpur on Monday asked Canberra to take responsibility for the "southern vector" of the operation to locate the Boeing 777. Most of the passengers were Chinese or Malaysian; six were Australian.

Australian, US and New Zealand surveillance planes have been scouring a huge tract of the southern Indian Ocean since Tuesday when Australian officials said it was like looking for a "needle in a haystack" and that the chances of finding any surface wreckage were slim, with planes not equipped to look underwater.


   Related story   

US President Obama says plane search a 'top priority'

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Angry man flushes wife
A Japanese man turned himself in to authorities after trying to flush the ashes of his "hated" dead wife down a supermarket toilet....
Thousands flee after landslide blocks Nepal river
Thousands of panic-stricken villagers fled their homes fearing flash floods after an overnight landslide blocked a river in quake-hit Nepal''s mountainous north-west, officials said Sunday....
Morsi, secular camp in dock for
Ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi went on trial Saturday alongside several secular figures behind Egypt''s 2011 uprising, underlining a crackdown on all forms of dissent....
Eiffel Tower reopens after staff walk out over pickpockets
Paris's iconic Eiffel Tower was shut to tourists for several hours on Friday as staff walked off the job to protest a surge in gangs of pickpockets....
Bank of England admits to researching
The Bank of England revealed Friday that it is researching the economic risks of Britain leaving the European Union....
Migrant drownings: Africa
African leaders have been silent over an issue they fear underlines their weak governance, say campaigners....
Should politicians be banned from addressing religious gatherings?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter