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Chinese aircraft spots suspicious objects in MH370 search area

03-24-2014 13:52 BJT Special Report:Malaysia Airlines Plane Bound for Beijing Goes Missing |

ABOARD IL-76 AIRCRAFT, March 24 (Xinhua) -- The crew of a Chinese IL-76 plane spotted some suspicious objects in the southern Indian Ocean on Monday while searching for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 off Australia.

The crew has reported the coordinates -- 95.1113 degrees east longitude and 42.5453 south altitude -- to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which later said via Twitter that "attempts will be made to relocate."

A Xinhua correspondent aboard the IL-76 aircraft said the searchers saw two relatively big floating objects with many white smaller ones scattered within a radius of several kilometers.

He added that, as the two Chinese searching planes were heading back, the crew asked the Australian side to send other planes to the area of interest for further examination.

The airborne searchers also relayed the information to Chinese icebreaker Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, which left the port of Perth on Friday for the search mission.

The Antarctic research vessel then changed course toward the newly identified area of interest, and is expected to arrive in the early hours of Tuesday.

According to the AMSA, 10 aircraft are expected to join Monday's search.

The focus of the multinational search has shifted to the southern Indian Ocean after Australia said Thursday that satellite imagery identified suspicious debris in waters some 2,400 km from Perth.

The finding was later echoed by satellite images from China and France, which raised the possibility of finally locating the missing Boeing 777 jetliner more than two weeks after it mysteriously disappeared from radar en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.

A total of 239 people were on board, including 154 Chinese passengers.

Initial search efforts were concentrated in the South China Sea where the plane last contacted air traffic controllers. But satellite and radar data later indicated the plane had made a turn to the west and was probably somewhere in one of two corridors -- the northern one stretching approximately from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, and the southern one stretching from Indonesia to the southern India Ocean.

Even if the plane is located, analysts believe it could still take months or even years to unravel the mystery why such a high-tech aircraft deviated from its planned path and landed somewhere thousands of kilometers away from its original destination.

Editor:Zhang Jianfeng |Source: Xinhua

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