[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

New objects spotted in MH370 search

Possible debris seen floating in Indian Ocean after search for Malaysian plane moves north as radar reveals new data.

Last updated: 28 Mar 2014 15:27
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

An air and sea search for a missing Malaysian passenger jet in the southern Indian Ocean has moved 1,100km north, where a New Zealand air force plane has spotted "objects" that could be related to Flight MH370, Australian authorities said.

The sightings would need to be confirmed by ship, which was not expected until Saturday, the Australian Maritime and Safety Authority (AMSA) said.

The dramatic shift in the search area came after the AMSA coordinating the operation received new information from Malaysia that suggested the plane ran out of fuel earlier than thought.

The shift followed analysis of radar and satellite data that showed the missing plane had travelled faster than had been previously calculated, and so would have burned through its fuel load quicker. 

"We're still waiting on imagery ourselves," said an AMSA spokesman, according to the AP news agency.

The latest twist underscores the perplexing and frustrating hunt for evidence in the near three-week search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which vanished from civilian radar screens less than an hour into a Kuala Lumpur to Beijing flight.

Malaysia says the plane was likely diverted deliberately but investigators have turned up no apparent motive or other red flags among the 227 passengers or the 12 crew.

Malaysian officials said the new search area was the result of a painstaking analysis of Malaysian military radar data and satellite readings from British company Inmarsat carried out by US, Chinese, British and Malaysian investigators.

Engine performance analysis by the plane's manufacturer Boeing helped investigators determine how long the plane could have flown before it ran out of fuel and crashed into the ocean, they said.

"Information which had already been examined by the investigation was re-examined in light of new evidence drawn from the Inmarsat data analysis," Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told a news conference.

For more than a week, ships and surveillance planes have been scouring seas 2,500km southwest of Perth, where satellite images had shown possible debris from Flight MH370, which went missing on March 8.

Ten aircraft searching on Friday were immediately re-directed to the new area of 319,000 km/sq., roughly the size of Poland, around 1,850km west of Perth.

The Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation was also redirecting satellites there, AMSA said.

398

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.