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Asia-pacific

Search for Malaysian jet narrows as satellite spots possible debris

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-03-26

The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 narrowed on Wednesday after a satellite picked up images of 122 objects that could be debris from the missing plane floating in the remote waters of the southern Indian Ocean.

Malaysia’s acting transport minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, said that the new images had been captured by France-based Airbus Defence and Space on March 23.

“It must be emphasized that we cannot tell whether the potential objects are from MH370,” Hishammuddin told a news conference. “Nevertheless, this is another new lead that will help direct the search operation.”

Hishammuddin said that the objects, which ranged between one metre and 23 metres (75 feet) in size, had been found in a 400 square kilometre (155 square mile) section of water. They are the fourth set of satellite images to show potential debris from the Boeing 777 in the area.

‘This is another new lead,’ Malaysia’s acting transport minister says

Meanwhile, a dozen aircraft from Australia, the United States, New Zealand, China, Japan and South Korea resumed their search around 2,500 kilometres southwest of Perth, after bad weather the day before forced operations to be suspended.

“The crash zone is as close to nowhere as it’s possible to be but it’s closer to Australia than anywhere else,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said, before leading the country’s parliament in a moment’s silence.

“A considerable amount of debris has been sighted in the area where the flight was last recorded. Bad weather and inaccessibility has so far prevented any of it from being recovered. But we are confident that it will be.”

Earlier this week, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed that Flight MH370, which vanished with 239 people on board en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, had gone down in the southern Indian Ocean.

Despite several false alarms, there has been no confirmed debris from Flight MH370 since it disappeared on March 8.

Recovery of the wreckage could unlock clues about why and how the plane had diverted so far off course in one of aviation’s most puzzling mysteries. Theories range from a hijacking to sabotage or a possible suicide by one of the pilots, but investigators have not ruled out technical problems.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-03-26

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