Images of possible debris from missing flight MH370

A 24 METRE 'blob' about 2500 kilometres south west of Perth appears to be the best lead in the hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines flight M370, officials said.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is coordinating the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft, with assistance from the Australian Defence Force, the New Zealand Air Force and the United States Navy.

On Thursday night, AMSA said there was limited visibility in the area and the crew of an RAAF P3 Orion in the search zone had been unable to find any debris.

"RAAF P3 crew unable to locate debris. Cloud and rain limited visibility. Further aircraft to continue search," it tweeted.

Australian authorities say they are possible remnants of the Boeing 777 that went missing on a March 8 flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, carrying 239 people, including Australians and New Zealanders.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key confirmed an Orion had been deployed to the search area and could play a key role.

"It's hard to believe the plane, if it is the plane, is actually there, given it's so far off course and in a completely different direction."

He said New Zealand would also be ready to offer more help if required, such as planes, naval equipment and personnel for any recovery effort.

"There are other assets we can deploy. If this really is the wreckage then it is relatively close to New Zealand."

The huge search comes after AMSA's Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) received satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search for the missing aircraft, flight MH370.

RCC Australia received an expert assessment of commercial satellite imagery on Thursday.

"The images were captured by satellite. They may not be related to the aircraft,'' AMSA Emergency Response Division general manager John Young warned media.

"The imagery is in the vicinity of the search area defined and searched in the past two days.

"Four aircraft have been reoriented to the area 2500 kilometres south-west of Perth as a result of this information.

"A Royal Australian Air Force Orion aircraft arrived in the area about 1.50pm (AEDT).

A further three aircraft have been tasked by RCC Australia to the area later today, including a Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion and United States Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft.

The Poseidon aircraft is expected to arrive at 3pm. The second RAAF Orion is expected to depart RAAF Base Pearce at 6pm.

Satellite image of debris found in waters off Perth. Image from Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
Satellite image of debris found in waters off Perth. Image from Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

 

The New Zealand Orion is due to depart at 8pm.

A RAAF C-130 Hercules aircraft has been tasked by RCC Australia to drop datum marker buoys.

"These marker buoys assist RCC Australia by providing information about water movement to assist in drift modelling,'' Mr Young told media.

"They will provide an ongoing reference point if the task of relocating the objects becomes protracted.

A merchant ship that responded to a shipping broadcast issued by RCC Australia on Monday is expected to arrive in the area about 6pm.

Satellite image of debris found in waters off Perth.
Satellite image of debris found in waters off Perth. Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Success is en route to the area but is some days away from this area. She is well equipped to recover any objects located and proven to be from MH370.

"The focus for AMSA is to continue the search operation, with all available assets.

 

"The assets are searching for anything signs of the missing aircraft.

"Weather conditions are moderate in the Southern Indian Ocean where the search is taking place. Poor visibility has been reported.

"AMSA continues to hold grave concerns for the passengers and crew on board.''
 

 

Tony Abbott breaks news of breakthrough in Parliament

TONY Abbott has told the Australian Parliament satellite images have shown some debris that could potentially be from missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

Mr Abbott told Parliament that "new and credible information has come to light" relating to the search.

"The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has received information based on satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search," he said.

"Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified."

 

The Prime Minister said he had spoken with his Malaysian counterpart, Najib Razak, and cautioned that the objects had yet to be identified, the ABC reported.

A RAAF Orion has been diverted to find the objects and was expected to reach the area around 2:15 AEDT.

He said three more aircraft would follow.

"They are tasked for more intensive follow-up search," he added.

Mr Abbott warned the task of locating the objects will be "extremely difficult", and "it may turn out that they are not related to the search."


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