, CANBERRA, Mar 20 – Australia said Thursday that two objects – one estimated at 24 metres (79 feet) long – had been spotted in the Indian Ocean, the “best lead we have” in the search for a Malaysian passenger jet.
Four search aircraft had been dispatched to the remote area of the southern Indian Ocean to check whether grainy satellite photos indicated debris from missing Malaysia Airlines MH370, as relatives of passengers huddled anxiously awaiting news.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told parliament the images represented “new and credible information” but stressed that the link with flight MH370 had still to be confirmed.
“Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified,” Abbott said.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, vanished in the early hours of March 8 after veering drastically off course over the South China Sea while en route to Beijing. READ: Still no confirmed debris from missing plane: Malaysian official.
The reason for the deviation remains unknown although investigators believe it was the result of “deliberate action” by someone on board.