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  • Oct 25, 2014
  • Updated: 8:18am
Malaysia Airlines flight 370
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Flight MH370

China spots new object in hunt for Malaysia Airlines jet as tropical cyclone warning issued

Satellite image shows possible debris 120km southwest of previous sighting off coast of Australia

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 March, 2014, 11:51pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 March, 2014, 9:23am
 

The international search for missing flight MH370 is focusing on a new location in the south Indian Ocean after China released a satellite image of what could be wreckage from the airliner.

More than two weeks after the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 disappeared, the new image shows an object 120 kilometres southwest of where suspected wreckage was previously spotted.

But deteriorating weather and a warning of the approach of Tropical Cyclone Gillian in the remote area is hampering search efforts.

Released by the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence, the new grainy black and white image - captured on March 18 - shows a 22-metre-long, 13-metre-wide object.

It is the second such sighting in the southern corridor search area in the past week after Australia released satellite images of suspected debris last Sunday. "Captured by the high-definition earth observation satellite Gaofen-1 at about 12am on March 18 Beijing time, the imagery spotted the object at 44 degrees, 57 minutes south latitude, and 90 degrees, 13 minutes east longitude, in the southern Indian Ocean," the administration said.

"The location of the suspicious object is along the southern corridor that missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 might have taken, and about 120 kilometres south by west from the location of a suspicious object Australia found before."

Malaysia's acting transport minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, who was handed the news during a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur, said: "The Chinese ambassador received a satellite image of floating objects in the southern corridor and they will be sending ships to verify."

It is unclear how long it will take ships to arrive at the location, with deteriorating weather hampering the search.

A warning was issued for Tropical Cyclone Gillian, which would make operations "very challenging" for ships, with rough seas and strong currents. Aircraft would also be flying into strong winds, officials said.

It is not immediately clear if the new image is related to the possible debris seen floating 2,260 kilometres west of Perth.

But if it is confirmed to show debris from flight MH370, it means the Boeing 777 crashed into the ocean while thousands of kilometres off course from its projected route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in the early hours of March 8.

Watch: Australia launches search after objects related to MH370 spotted

A relative of one of the 239 passengers and crew, who is staying at the Lido Hotel in Beijing, said she hoped the wreckage was not from the plane. "They're still alive," she insisted.

Another family member said: "I think it's better to stay at the hotel and wait for news, otherwise I'll go home and see their clothes and it hurts too much."

Meanwhile, a third day of intensified search efforts off the coast of Perth - covering an area of 36,000 square kilometres - produced no further sightings of potential wreckage.

At least six aircraft and two ships will be deployed today.

Additional reporting by Satish Cheney

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This article is now closed to comments

giggsy72
Did anyone else notice how much this piece has been edited in the last 36 hours? From originally championing China as the only nation doing anything positive in this search after pointless and fruitless searching by the Australian, New Zealand and US navy. China sending three ships to area to sort out the problem and by the way, Malaysia censors their media and they're run by a central, mafia driven government..........to.........Oh, well China has now found the same piece that everyone else was looking for and I hope we all work together and we achieve a good outcome.
Smells very much of some silly little idiot getting a piece across the editors desk after hours, and then being raked over the coals and told to fix the story.
Danny Lee & Anglea Meng: you care to comment on why exactly you changed your original very politically biased piece????
lucifer
The SCMP online editor has been doing this since the plane disappeared. Once the news about China's expertise and new found information evaporates into thin air, the articles and their comments are removed, the headline is changed and the content is changed....something strange going on here, but it certainly smacks of unprofessional and pointless.
village2206
Tropical Cyclones are exactly what they say... they are largely associated with and concentrated where they commence in the tropics. The tails of such storms may penetrate further south as they unwind. There is a greater likelihood of low pressure systems Cold fronts, tight isobars, strong westerlies, low temperatures and miserable visibility this far south. Stop playing with peoples emotions and get your facts in order. Of course a tropical cyclone warning maybe issued buts its no where near 43 South!!!
captam
This search is now becoming increasingly dangerous for the maritime and aviation personnel engaged in locating this aircraft. The new sighting of debris , even further off the coast of Australia, reduces further the short time available for air spotters at the scene because of fuel considerations. And for ships, should we endanger the lives of seamen by pushing them in the paths of approaching storms?
It s time to be realistic; we are not going to find people alive now. Even if this debris is located and confirmed as having been part of a disintegrated aircraft , the ocean is so deep here, its going to be years before the black box is found and recovered..... if ever.
The aviation industry has for too long ignored security and environmental considerations. It has concentrated on expanding rapidly with little thought for the consequences. Why are "black boxes" (which are red) still needed? The information recorded should be streamed automatically by satellite communication to central aviation control centers under the jurisdiction of a world body rather than individual nations. Time also for passengers to stop and think.............. why all this incessant flying in uncomfortable aluminium tubes? We managed before very nicely without doing it and in many cases were generally a happier people before the rat race of mass air tourism exploded.
Mandmf
Nankani: what on earth are you talking about? Do you really think Russia was involved in destroying a plane loaded with Chinese nationals? China being one of Russia's biggest supporters in the security council? What nonsense. Do people actually believe such nonsensical conspiracy theories? Shaking my head in bewilderment.
wailunscmp
we don't need more conspiracy theories. there's enough of them
nankani
MY DEEPEST CONDOLONCES GO TO THE FAMILIES OF ALL THOSE AND MAY GOD GIVE THEM THE STRENGTH TO BEAR THE PAIN AND GRIEF.
HAVING SID THAT I JUS TMUST SAY IT LOOKS MORE LIKE A CONSPIRACY BY A CERTIAN
COUNTRY WHICH JUST TOOK OVER ANOTHER COUNTRY BY FORCE AND IT JUST SEEMS ALL THE MILITARY AND WORLD IS FOCUSED ON THE SEARCH AND RESCUE MISSION WITH ALL MILITARY POWER AND NAVAL FLEETS AND THIS OTHER COUNTRY JUST TRAMPLE OVER A FREE PEOPLE AND THEIR LIVES AND PROPERTY AMIDST THIS CHAOS MAYBE CONJURED TO DIVERT THE ATTENTION !!! MARK MY WORDS. JR
joyalsofi
"...OTHER COUNTRY JUST TRAMPLE OVER A FREE PEOPLE AND THEIR LIVES AND PROPERTY ..." You must mean the USA who helped engineer a violent coup against a democratically elected government in . . . Where? Well, take your pick on almost every continent. But I hardly believe that the US government would bother to divert a plane without making sure the blame would be quickly placed squarely on whomever they wanted.
 
 
 
 
 

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