Sunday 21 December 2014

MH370: 122 objects found by satellite south west of Australia

Published 26/03/2014 | 11:41

This graphic released by the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, shows the approximate position of objects seen floating in the southern Indian Ocean in the search zone for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said at a news conference in Kuala Lumpur, Wednesday that a satellite has captured images of 122 objects close to where three other satellites previously detected objects. (AP Photo/Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency)
This graphic released by the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency shows the approximate position of objects seen floating in the southern Indian Ocean in the search zone for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Photo: AP Photo/Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency
Malaysian Lieutenant General Ackbal Samad shows a map showing possible track of Malaysia Airlines MH370 to relatives of passengers aboard the missing plane, during a briefing by the Malaysian government at the Lido Hotel in Beijing. Photo: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein holds satellite images as he speaks about the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Photo: Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha
Malaysia's defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein, centre, addresses the media (AP)

A satellite scanning the Indian Ocean for remnants of a missing jetliner has found a possible plane debris field containing 122 objects.

A senior Malaysian official called the discovery "the most credible lead that we have" in the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370.

Defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the objects were more than 1,550 miles (2,500km) south-west of Australia, near where other satellites previously detected objects. The objects ranged in length from one yard or metre to 25 years (23m).

Mr Hishammuddin said the latest images were taken on Sunday and relayed by French-based Airbus Defence and Space, a division of Europe's Airbus Group.

Various floating objects have been spotted by planes and satellites over the last week.

Today the Australian Maritime Safety Authority sent a tweet saying three more objects had been spotted. The authority said two objects seen from a civil aircraft appeared to be rope, and that a New Zealand military plane had spotted a blue object.

But none of the objects were seen on a second pass, a frustration that has been repeated several times in the hunt for Flight MH370, which has been missing since March 8 with 239 people aboard.

It remains uncertain whether the objects came from the plane or from something else, such as a cargo ship.

Mr Hishammuddin said: "If it is confirmed to be MH370, at least we can then we can move on to the next phase of deep sea surveillance search."

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Malaysia's defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein, centre.

The desperate, multinational hunt resumed today across a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean after fierce winds and high waves that had forced a day-long halt eased considerably.

A total of 12 planes and five ships from the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand were participating in the search, hoping to find even a single piece of the Malaysia Airlines jet that could offer tangible evidence of a crash.

Malaysia announced earlier this week that a mathematical analysis of the final known satellite signals from the plane showed that it had crashed in the sea, killing everyone on board.

The new data greatly reduced the search zone, but it remains huge - an area estimated at 622,000 square miles (1.6 million square kilometres).

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