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
Ukraine accuses Russia of
Ukraine on Friday accused Moscow of invading after Russia unilaterally sent the first part of its mammoth aid convoy into east Ukraine, warning against any attacks on the trucks....
Islamic State
The Islamic State poses a greater danger than a conventional "terrorist group" and is pursuing a vision that could radically alter the face of the Middle East, US defense leaders say....
Malaysia in mourning as MH17 remains return home
Malaysia will drape itself in black for a national day of mourning Friday as it welcomes home the remains of 20 citizens killed on downed Flight MH17....
Pope calls family of slain US journalist
Pope Francis called the family of slain US journalist James Foley on Thursday to offer his condolences, a Catholic priest close to the family said....
Executed US journalist
Journalist James Foley's jihadist captors sent his family a taunting and rambling email threatening to kill him, just a week before making public a video of his execution....
Hyundai Motor workers to go on strike
Workers at South Korea''s largest automaker Hyundai Motor Co. will launch a limited strike Friday to press their demands for wage hikes....
Will strict traffic laws reduce road accidents?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter