122 Pieces of Debris Found in Indian Ocean - is it Flight 370?
Less than two days after being declared "lost," Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 may be one step closer to being found, after 122 objects were spotted in the Indian Ocean.
"We have now had four separate satellite leads, from Australia, China and France, showing possible debris," Malaysian Acting Transportation Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told a news conference Wednesday. "It is now imperative that we link the debris to MH370."
The latest images were captured by France-based Airbus Defense & Space on Monday, and showed 122 potential objects in a 400-sq-km (155-sq-mile) area of ocean, Hishammuddin said. The objects vary in size from one meter to 23 meters (75 ft) in length.
The search for the missing plane continues on Wednesday, after bad weather postponed searches Tuesday and caused an uproar from outraged relatives.
A dozen aircraft from Australia, the United States, New Zealand, China, Japan and South Korea are scouring the seas some 2,500 km (1,550 miles) southwest of Perth, according to Reuters.
Hishammudin said that the results of the search are still pending.
"I'll have to wait and see what reports come back from today's search," he said, as quoted by CNN. "This new information has just been relayed to them."
Officials have warned that objects spotted in the water may turn out to be flotsam from cargo ships, and that finding anything from the plane could still take a long time. To make things worse, the plane's pinger is expected to run out of power within the next two weeks, leaving behind an even greater challenge to search an area covering 469,407 square nautical miles and extending more than 13,000 feet deep.
Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared without a trace on March 8, generating a range of theories as to its fate – from hijacking to crashing to being diverted for use in a terror attack, possibly against Israel. Later theories have become even wilder, ranging from an onboard fire to a suicide mission.
Last week, it was revealed that crucial files had been deleted from the pilots' flight simulators sometime before takeoff, leading to further speculation on the plane's fate, with the New York Times saying that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been brought in to aid the ongoing search for the missing plane.
The FBI is expected to relay the contents of the simulator's hard drive back to experts in the US to speed the investigative process. So far, the intelligence organization has also conducted extensive background checks on passengers with connections to the US and Europe, as well as the pilots and the two Iranian nationals who used stolen passports to board the plane.