Prime Minister Tony Abbott says two objects possibly related to the search for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane have been identified.
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Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced objects possibly related to the search for a missing Malaysian Airlines plane have been found in the southern Indian Ocean.
Mr Abbott says new satellite images show two possible objects in the ocean and an Australian Orion aircraft is en route to the area.
“New and credible information has come to light in relation to the search … in the south Indian Ocean,” Mr Abbott told Parliament during Question Time.
“The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has received information based on satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search.”
Flight MH370 has been missing since it disappeared en route to Beijing from Malaysia on March 8.
So far the investigation has focused on the possibility that the plane was deliberately diverted from its flight path.
The plane is thought to have travelled in either of two directions: north west into Asia or south west into the Indian Ocean.
Australia has been leading the search in the southern vector, specifically an area 3,000 kilometres south-west of Perth.
AMSA says the search zone covers 600,000 square kilometres of ocean and has been plotted using data based on the last satellite relay signals sent by the plane.
The search now encompasses an area stretching 7.7 million square kilometres – an area larger than the entire land mass of Australia.
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Update 0204 ET – RAAF en route to possible debris from MH370 in Indian Ocean
Australian search planes have been diverted to find two objects in the southern Indian Ocean “possibly related” to the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) says it has received an expert assessment of commercial satellite imagery of objects it suspects may be debris from the flight.
AMSA spokesman John Young says the images indicate that one of the objects measures around 24 metres in length.
Mr Young has emphasised the objects may be difficult to locate and they may not be related to the search.
“The objects are relatively indistinct on the imagery. I don’t profess to be an expert in assessing the imagery, but those who are expert indicate they are credible sightings,” he said.
Australia has been leading the search in an area 3,000 kilometres south-west of Perth.