Live: Objects might not be from Malaysian jet, says Australia


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10.03 am: Objects spotted might not be from missing Malaysian jet, says Australian authorities

Following is the full text of the statement issued by the AMSA on the objects spotted in Southern Indian Ocean, by Australian satellite:

Statement from AMSA Emergency Response Division General Manager John Young

* All times will be expressed in Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is coordinating the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft, with assistance from the Australian Defence Force, the New Zealand Air Force and the United States Navy. AMSA’s Rescue Coordination Centre Australia has received satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search for the missing aircraft, flight MH370.

RCC Australia received an expert assessment of commercial satellite imagery on Thursday. The images were captured by satellite. They may not be related to the aircraft. The assessment of these images was provided by the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation as a possible indication of debris south of the search area that has been the focus of the search operation. The imagery is in the vicinity of the search area defined and searched in the past two days.

Four aircraft have been reoriented to the area 2500 kilometres south-west of Perth as a result of this information. A Royal Australian Air Force Orion aircraft arrived in the area about 1.50pm. A further three aircraft have been tasked by RCC Australia to the area later today, including a Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion and United States Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft. The Poseidon aircraft is expected to arrive at 3pm. The second RAAF Orion is expected to depart RAAF Base Pearce at 6pm.

The New Zealand Orion is due to depart at 8pm. A RAAF C-130 Hercules aircraft has been tasked by RCC Australia to drop datum marker buoys. These marker buoys assist RCC Australia by providing information about water movement to assist in drift modelling. They will provide an ongoing reference point if the task of relocating the objects becomes protracted. A merchant ship that responded to a shipping broadcast issued by RCC Australia on Monday is expected to arrive in the area about 6pm.

Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Success is en route to the area but is some days away from this area. She is well equipped to recover any objects located and proven to be from MH370. The focus for AMSA is to continue the search operation, with all available assets. The assets are searching for anything signs of the missing aircraft. Weather conditions are moderate in the Southern Indian Ocean where the search is taking place. Poor visibility has been reported. AMSA continues to hold grave concerns for the passengers and crew on board.

9.40 am: Reports suggest that a Malaysian minister has confirmed new lead in probe

According to latest reports, a Malaysian minister has confirmed to news agency Reuters that a new lead has emerged in the search for the missing flight MH370. The announcement comes immediately after the Australian PM declared that satellite images have spotted objects that might be parts of the missing plane. The Wall Street Journal has also reported that Malaysia Defense Ministry has issued a statement saying aircraft, vessels en Route to verify possible debris in southern Indian Ocean.

9.10 am: Finding plane top priority, says US President Barack Obama

Associated Press reports that President Barack Obama has said finding out what happened to the missing Malaysia Airlines plane is a top priority for the US. In his first public comments on the mind-boggling disappearance, Obama said Wednesday that every available U.S. resource is being used in the search, including the FBI, the National Transportation Safety Board and others who deal with aviation. Finding the plane will take time because the search area is so vast, he said, but the U.S. will continue working in close cooperation with the Malaysian government, which is leading the investigation, “to see if we can get to the bottom of this.”

8.45 am: Has Australian search team spotted parts of the plane?

Australia’s prime minister says objects possibly related to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight have been spotted on satellite imagery. Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Parliament in Canberra on Thursday that a Royal Australian Airforce Orion has been diverted to the area to attempt to locate the objects. The Orion is expected to arrive in the area Thursday afternoon. Three additional aircraft are expected to follow for a more intensive search. It was also reported that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority will hold a media briefing soon.

7.42 am: Malaysia seeks FBI help to analyse simulator data

The FBI joined forces with Malaysian authorities in analyzing deleted data on a flight simulator belonging to the pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, while distraught relatives of the passengers unleashed their anger — wailing in frustration at 12 days of uncertainty. Files containing records of flight simulations were deleted Feb. 3 from the device found in the home of the Malaysia Airlines pilot, Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu said. It was not immediately clear whether investigators thought that deleting the files was unusual. The files might hold signs of unusual flight paths that could help explain where the missing plane went. Then again, the files could have been deleted simply to clear memory for other material. Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told a news conference that Zaharie is considered innocent until proven guilty.