New leads in search for missing Malaysia plane

 

A multi-national search for Malaysia Airlines’ missing Flight MH370 has turned up 122 objects in the Indian Ocean that could potentially be related to the plane’s presumed crash, officials with the airline said on Wednesday.

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The new images are being coupled with prior satellite images that have been released by Australia, China and France officials. Those images prompted Malaysian officials to announce publicly that the missing airplane almost certainly crashed in the Indian Ocean with no survivors. 

Malaysia Air said in a statement that the 122 new objects that have been identified are in an area that is approximately 400 square kilometers wide.

“Some objects were a [meter] in length; others were as much as 23 [meters] in length,” the company said. “Some of the objects appeared to be bright, possibly indicating solid materials. The objects were located approximately 2,557 [kilometers] from Perth."

The Malaysian airline said it was not ready to pronounce the images were definitively related to the jetliner’s disappearance.

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

“We have now had four separate satellite leads, from Australia, China and France, showing possible debris,” the Malaysia Air statement continued. “It is now imperative that we link the debris to MH370. This will enable us to further reduce the search area, and locate more debris from the plane.”

The disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines’ plane has mystified aviation experts for two-and-a-half weeks.

The plane, which was carrying 239 passengers, was last detected by air traffic controllers about an hour into its flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, China, on March 8.

Investigators initially believed the plane had crashed into the Gulf of Thailand, which was where it was located when its pilots last had radio contact with air traffic controllers.

Officials later came to believe the plane’s radar equipment was intentionally turned off and the jet flew several hours after backtracking from its intended flight path.

The search has focused on the Indian Ocean in recent days after investigators discovered signals that were sent from the plane’s jets and investigators later began finding satellite images they believed could be related to the plane's disappearance.