• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 6:41pm
Malaysia Airlines flight 370
NewsAsia
Flight MH370

Thai satellite finds 300 floating objects in search for missing Malaysia Airlines jet

Air search for missing Malaysia Airlines jet called off due to bad weather in Indian Ocean but ships remain

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 March, 2014, 4:52pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 March, 2014, 11:45pm
 

Thai satellite images have shown 300 floating objects in the southern Indian Ocean during a search for the missing Malaysian airliner, an official said Thursday.

The objects, ranging from two to 15 metres in size, were scattered over an area about 2,700 kilometres southwest of Perth, according to the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency.

“But we cannot – dare not – confirm they are debris from the plane,” the agency’s executive director, Anond Snidvongs, told reporters.

He said the information had been given to Malaysia.

The pictures were taken by Thailand’s only earth observation satellite on Monday but needed several days to process, Anond added.

He said the objects were spotted about 200 kilometres away from an area where French satellite images earlier showed potential objects in the search for the Boeing 777 which vanished on March 8 with 239 people aboard.

Thailand faced criticism after announcing more than a week after the jet’s disappearance that its radar had picked up an “unknown aircraft” minutes after flight MH370 last transmitted its location.

The Thai air force said it did not report the findings earlier as the plane was not considered a threat.

The Malaysia Airlines plane is presumed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean after mysteriously diverting from its Kuala Lumpur-Beijing path and apparently flying for hours in the opposite direction.

Thunderstorms and gale-force winds grounded the international air search for wreckage on Thursday.

Severe weather on Thursday halted an air search for a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet presumed crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, frustrating hopes of finding what new satellite images showed could be a large debris field.

However, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said ships would remain in the area and will attempt to continue searching as forecasters warned of 24 hours of bad weather.

An international search team of 11 military and civilian aircraft and five ships had been heading to an area where more than 100 objects that could be from the Boeing 777 had been identified by French satellite pictures earlier this week.

"The forecast in the area was calling for severe icing, severe turbulence and near zero visibility," said Lieutenant Commander Adam Schantz, the officer in charge of the U.S. Navy Poseidon P8 maritime surveillance aircraft detachment.

"Anybody who’s out there is coming home and all additional sorties from here are cancelled."

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the operation, confirmed flights had been cancelled and ships were leaving the search area due to the weather.

A set of satellite images unveiled yesterday showed 122 "potential objects" floating in the ocean, as China's special envoy stressed to Malaysia the need for an "unremitting" search for flight MH370.

In what could be a debris field from Malaysia Airlines' doomed Boeing 777 jet, the objects were estimated to measure between one and 23 metres, and a number appeared "bright".

The images were captured by France-based Airbus Defence & Space on Monday through gaps in the clouds 2,557 kilometres from Perth - close to satellite sightings previously reported by China and Australia.

If it is confirmed as MH370, at least we can move on to the next phase
HISHAMMUDDIN HUSSEIN

The objects were contained in an area measuring 400 square kilometres.

Flight MH370 vanished from civilian radar screens less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing on March 8, and investigators believe someone aboard may have shut off the plane's communications systems.

"Some of the objects appeared bright, possibly indicating solid materials," said Malaysia's Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.

"This is the most credible lead we've had so far. [It] seems to corroborate some form of objects and debris and if it is confirmed as MH370, at least we can move on to the next phase of deep-sea surveillance search."

The new images were revealed as relatives of those missing met a Malaysian delegation in Beijing who tried to explain how conclusions were drawn that the plane went down in the sea.

Angry family members questioned the accuracy of a report compiled by British firm Inmarsat and demanded the Malaysians retract a statement that the plane had "ended" in the southern Indian Ocean.

The latest sightings came as search teams stepped up efforts to find some trace of the plane, thought to have crashed with the loss of all 239 people aboard after flying thousands of kilometres off course.

The 469,407 square nautical mile search area, in the "southern corridor" that the jet was believed to have travelled along, has been divided into two areas, east and west. Six countries - Australia, China, New Zealand, the United States, South Korea and Japan - and 12 planes scoured the seas yesterday after the weather improved following the previous day's grounding.

Three actual objects were identified in the sea - two items believed to be rope seen from a civilian plane and a blue object spotted by the crew of a New Zealand Air Force P-3 Orion, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.

Highlighting the challenges of air-search reconnaissance, none of the objects was seen on subsequent flyovers, AMSA added.

Earlier in the day China's envoy, deputy foreign minister Zhang Yesui , met Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and a host of officials to seek a further insight into the operation, Xinhua reported.

Zhang said he hoped Malaysia would strengthen its information-sharing with China and provide Beijing with the data that led to the conclusion that the "ill-fated flight ended in the southern Indian Ocean", Xinhua said.

At Hishammuddin's daily press briefing in Kuala Lumpur, he was repeatedly asked about relations between Malaysia and China. He denied a rift had opened up between the countries and said Najib was looking forward to his China visit in May.

"Not many countries in the world could get 26 countries to work together," he said. "I think history will judge us well."

Watch: The path Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 took

Share

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
20

This article is now closed to comments

lucifer
I AM GETTING SO FRIGGIN TIRED OF THE ONLINE EDITOR CONSTANTLY CHANGING AND DELETING ARTICLES FROM THE ONINE ADDITION. IF YOU PUBLISH A STORY, LEAVE IT AND ARCHIVE IT, BUT DONT KEEP MODIFYING AND DELETING THEM! WHAT IF SOMEBODY WANT TO REFER BACK TO AN ARTICLE FOR INFORMATION - BUT ITS A DIFFERENT ARTICLE NOW OR ITS GONE! BE PROFESSIONAL! YOU MUST HAVE LEARNED SOMETHING IN THE US....
oscar.vandenbroeck
I think the media should be ridiculed for reporting the tiniest and often unverified details about that missing plane. The SCMP has devoted both front page cover and (at a minimum) an entire page inside to the story every day for weeks now. You should be ashamed of yourselves for reporting unnecessary and unverified facts, we've known for days that weather conditions are poor in the area where they supposedly found something! Now give it a break and report something newsworthy!!
chanaa
its interesting to see the great country of china organising the protest while multple nations have put their men & women in harms way to discover the wreckage.
lucifer
You know, word has it that those objects in the sea were from a Chinese Navy ship who dumped its garbage into the ocean .......those white objects they keep seeing are actually Styrofoam Chinese fast food containers....
andreaswagner
So the plane is lost. It happened before, and it will happen again. Time to move on.
captam
This IS getting boring.... reading different speculations day after day!
It was much easier to deal with these matters in the 1930s. Newspapers merely reported "Plane Lost at Sea" when it failed to turn up.
When Australian aviator Mrs Keith Miller disappeared on a flight between Havana and Miami in December 1930 the press simply blamed her for own death, having admitted that she was taking off in bad weather and that there was neither radio nor other instruments on board the plane for flying "blind". End of Story!
chuchu59
Credibility of this newspaper has gone downhill during the past decade.
rachele3
Must be all those scurrilous lies now coming back to haunt the Malaysians. Why don't they hand over at least half their territory as compensation immediately. Any fool knows metal doesn't fly. Or pigs. WE ARE CHINESE. TELL US THE TRUTH. Imm****t said.... Ha likely story. Everyone lies except the CCP. Give Malaysia power? Are you mad? Australia, only your white impartial skin can save us now with your supernatural powerz.
Are these articles satire or should I cancel my subscription now and invest in decent proxy servers before it's too late? Who writes this stuff. Global Times?
oscar.vandenbroeck
I think you're missing his point. I would gladly hale a return to early 20th century reporting. I have a feeling the news media were more independent and less likely to participate in hyped-up, just for show news reporting. Also, I think what captam is saying is that the news in 1930 was fact-based and to the point.
I think news outlets should be punished for bombarding us with all of this useless information which got people emotionally in distress. Just look at what happened at the Malaysian embassy in Beijing.
sng7444
Totally agreed

Pages

Login

SCMP.com Account

or