New objects spotted in colours of missing Malaysian plane

2014-03-29 13:15

Perth – A Chinese aircraft flying over the search zone for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 today spotted several objects floating in the sea, including two bearing colours of the missing plane, but it was not immediately clear whether they were related to the investigation, officials said.

A Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 spotted three floating objects, China’s official Xinhua News Agency said, a day after several planes and ships combing the newly targeted area closer to mainland Australia saw several other objects.

Malaysian defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters near Kuala Lumpur, after meeting several families of passengers on the plane, that there was no new information on the objects spotted yesterday, which could just be sea trash or could be from the jet which went missing three weeks ago.

“I’ve got to wait to get the reports on whether they have retrieved those objects ... those will give us some indication,” said Hishammuddin.

Relatives and friends of the passengers said they were tortured by the uncertainty of the fate of their loved ones, as they wait for hard evidence that the plane had crashed.

“This is the trauma of maybe he’s dead, maybe he’s not. Maybe he’s still alive and we need to find him. Maybe he died within the first hour of the flight, and we don’t know,” said Sarah Bajc, the American girlfriend of US passenger Philip Wood, in Beijing.

“There’s absolutely no way for me to reconcile that in my heart,” she said.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said that objects cannot be verified or discounted as being from Flight 370 until they are relocated and recovered by ships. “It is not known how much flotsam, such as from fishing activities, is ordinarily there. At least one distinctive fishing object has been identified,” the agency said.

Flight 370 disappeared on March 8 bound for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, and investigators are puzzled over what happened aboard the plane. Speculation ranges from equipment failure and a botched hijacking to terrorism or an act by one of the pilots.

New satellite data shifted the search zone yesterday, raising hopes that searchers may be closer to getting physical evidence that that the plane crashed in the Indian Ocean with 239 people aboard.

That would also help narrow the hunt for the wreckage and the plane’s black boxes, which could contain clues to what caused the plane to be so far off-course.

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