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

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'


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

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Nigeria faces separatist pressure over oil wealth sharing
When Boko Haram captured territory in Nigeria's northeast last year and declared a caliphate, there were real fears for the sovereignty of Africa's most populous nation....
Turkey shoots down Russian war plane on Syria border
NATO member Turkey on Tuesday shot down a Russian fighter jet on the Syrian border, threatening a major spike in tensions between two key protagonists in the four-year Syria civil war....
US issues global travel alert due to
The United States issued a worldwide travel alert on Monday warning American citizens of "increased terrorist threats" in the wake of the Paris attacks...
Mali in mourning as siege hotel yields clues
FRENCH and UN investigators joined a Mali police probe into a jihadist siege at a luxury hotel that left at least 19 dead as flags were lowered for three days of mourning...
Five arrests in new Belgium anti-terror raids: prosecutor
Belgian police arrested five more people in a new series of anti-terrorism raids Monday, prosecutors said as the capital Brussels was locked down for a third day under a state of maximum alert....
Brussels stays at top security alert over fears of Paris-style attack
Brussels will remain at the highest possible alert level Monday, with schools, universities and metros closed over a "serious and imminent" threat of attacks similar to those that struck Paris, the Belgian prime minister said....
Is Uganda ready for the pope's visit?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter