MH370 Mystery: Norwegian ship in area where Malaysian plane debris may have been spotted
- Mar 20, 2014, 18:10 PM IST
New Delhi: As the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 entered its 13th day, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Thursday that two objects possibly related to the search have been sighted.
All the world's eyes are fixed on the Southern Indian Ocean where debris, presumably of the missing Malaysian Airlines MH 370 was spotted.
British naval ship joinhs search of Malaysian Airlines plane
The Royal Australian Air Force has also dispatched an aircraft to the designated spot. The plane has not been relay any possible information due to poor visibility owing to bad weather.
Low visibility has severely hampered the search operation. A Royal Australian Air Force aircraft has reached the spot but bad weather conditions are making it impossible for the crew on board the Orion plane to track the debris.
Earlier, Abbott told parliament ‘new and credible information’ had come to light nearly two weeks after the plane vanished. He said an Australian air force Orion had been diverted to look into the objects. He did not specify where they were but Australia has taken charge of the search in the southern Indian Ocean.
"The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has received information based on satellite information of objects possibly related to the search," Abbott said, adding that he had informed Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. "Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified."
But he warned against drawing any premature conclusions. "We must keep in mind the task of locating these objects will be extremely difficult and it may turn out that they are not related to the search for flight MH370," he said.
Addressing a press conference, John Young from Australian Maritime Security Authority (AMSA) said that the largest 'object' sighted in Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 search is 24 metres (79 feet) long. Young said that the assessment of satellite imagery shows objects in the search but investigation will confirm whether they are related to MH 370.
AMSA said four aircrafts have been diverted to the search area. Confirming the new lead in the investigation, Malaysian Defence Minister said aircraft and vessels are en route to verify objects in southern Indian Ocean.
The Malaysian government believes the jet was deliberately diverted and flew for several hours after leaving its scheduled flight path -- either north towards Central Asia, or towards the southern Indian Ocean.
Australian, US and New Zealand long-range surveillance planes have been scouring a vast tract of the southern Indian Ocean since Tuesday with the search focused on an area of 305,000 square kilometres (122,000 square miles), some 2,600 kilometres southeast of Perth.
However, on Wednesday, there was a news report by a Telegu news channel that cited fishermen spotting debris floating off the coast of Andhra that resembled pieces of an aircraft.
The debris was spotted floating at Kutta Gouduru beach in T P Gudur mandal of Nellore district in south coastal Andhra off Bay of Bengal.
The incident comes in the background of a massive search operation trying to locate a missing Malaysian Airlines planes, with 239 people on board, that went missing on March 8.
Malaysian defence ministry said on Wednesday that files were 'recently' deleted from the home flight simulator assembled by the pilot of the MH370.
The investigations are trying to retrieve the deleted files. The fact that none of the passengers- on board the missing flight MH 370- used or tried to use their cellphones have left the investigating agencies scratching their heads.
In the age of smartphones and social media, one question surrounding the disappearance of the Malaysian airline is why none of the passengers tried to contact relatives, as they did during the 9/11 attacks.
(With AFP inputs)