PERTH, Australia, March 29 – A Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft spotted on Saturday three suspicious objects in a new search waters in the Indian Ocean that is north to the previous area, China’s Xinhua news agency reported. The latest spotted floating items are white, red and orange respectively, according to a Xinhua reporter aboard the military plane. A marker was dropped and the Chinese crew have informed Australian authorities of the new findings.
Also on Saturday, two Chinese ships have reached the revised searching area which is defined according to the latest analysis. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said that Saturday’s multinational search will involve eight aircraft, with six ships expected to reach the new search area “late in the day or after dark.” It added that the weather is going to be suitable for searching but conditions could “deteriorate later in the day.”
While the hunt for the missing plane is underway, more suspicious objects with possible linkage to Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 are spotted. Also on Saturday, New Zealand Air Vice Marshal Kevin Short told the media that a cluster of 11 white rectangular objects is sitting below water surface some 1,600 km west of Perth, Australia, according to the Australian Associated Press (AAP). The objects, one-meter rectangular piece of material, were within five metres away from one another, the general said.
Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told the media on Saturday that a device for locating the black box will be put onto an Australian navy ship in its search for the missing plane. “It will be taken to the most prospective search area and if there is good reason to deploy it, it will be deployed,” he told reporters this morning in Sydney. He said the black box recovery equipment will be put on a navy ship in Perth. So far, no debris had been recovered in the adjusted search area, he said.
The new search area, about 319,000 square km, is about four times bigger than the previous search area in the southern Indian Ocean and 1,100 km to the northeast. The prime minister also warned the difficulty of the task. “We should not underestimate the difficulty of this work,” he said. “These are inhospitable seas. We are trying to find small bits of wreckage in a vast ocean.”