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Unidentified material washed ashore south of Perth: JACC

Editor: Ren Zhongxi 丨Xinhua

04-23-2014 19:52 BJT

Full coverage: Malaysia Airlines Plane Bound for Beijing Goes Missing

PERTH, Australia, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Western Australia Police have attended a report of material washed ashore 10 kilometers east of Augusta, south of Perth, and have secured the material, the Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC) said Wednesday afternoon.

According to the latest update, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is examining the photographs of the material to determine whether further physical analysis is required and if there is any relevance to the search of missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, the JACC said in a press release.

It said the ATSB has also provided the photographs to the Malaysian investigation team.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) said they has been told the material is"metallic and about 2.5 metres long". And WA Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said it was possible the items found could have come from the missing flight.

"It wouldn't surprise me if sooner or later ... if there was debris floating, it would end up on the West Australian coast," he told ABC local radio in Perth.

But Francis stressed that he did not have any information to suggest the debris was from the missing flight.

"I don't want to pre-empt anything that it may or may not have been," he said. "We're just guessing at the moment but I wouldn't be surprised, that's all."

Local media the West Australian said that "an ATSB spokesman confirmed that the piece of debris was interesting" and its report described the unidentified material as "sheet metal with rivets".

However, the JACC emphasized that no further information is available at the moment.

Augusta is close to Australia's southwestern tip about 300 kilometers from Perth.

To date, the underwater search has completed more than 80 percent of the focused underwater search area with nothing found.

Planned air search activities have been suspended for Wednesday due to poor weather conditions in the search area.

On Tuesday, planned air search activities were suspended due to poor weather conditions as a result of Tropical Cyclone Jack.

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