Ships and aircraft on Thursday intensified search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight deep in the southern Indian Ocean, far to the west of Australia, after satellites picked up images of debris that officials said may be linked to the Boeing 777.
Grainy images released by the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation showed what appeared to be debris in the vast and remote waters. One object was 24 metres long, and a second was five metres.
A Norwegian ship that reached the area had not yet found any object likely to have come from flight MH370, an AFP report said.
The images were captured on March 16, Australian officials said. They came to light only on Thursday because of the volume of images that had to be analysed.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said a daylong search on Thursday was conducted by two Royal Australia Air Force AP-3C Orions, a U.S. Navy P8 Poseidon, and a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion over a 23,000-square km area, around 2,500 km southwest of Perth. Malaysian officials described the discovery, which corresponded with the information received from satellites, as perhaps the most credible lead yet in the 13-day search. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott cautioned that locating the objects “will be extremely difficult, and it may turn out that they are not related to the search for flight MH370.”