Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) with 239 souls may have finally been located (subject to on-site ship confirmation).
According to CNN, “Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) received new satellite images from France that were taken on March 23. The images showed 122 potential objects in one area of the Indian Ocean. Some of the objects were as much as 23 meters in length. Some appeared bright, possibly indicating solid material. They were located about 2,500 kilometers from Perth. “This is another new lead that will help direct the search operation,” said Acting Minister of Transportation Hishammuddin Bin Hussein on Wednesday.”
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Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has issued this update for today (March 26):
Today’s search for any signs of the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft in the Australian Search and Rescue Region is now underway.
A total of six countries are now assisting in the search and recovery operation – Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea.
A total of seven military and five civil aircraft will be involved in today’s search activities. One Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft from China departed Perth around 8am for the search area.
A Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion aircraft NZ P-3K2 departed for the search area around 9.10am.
A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orion is scheduled to depart Perth around 11am. A US Navy P8 Poseidon is due to depart around 2pm.
A Japanese P3 Orion is due to depart Perth around 3pm.
A second RAAF P3 Orion is scheduled to depart for the search area around 4pm.
A Republic of Korea P3 Orion is due to depart around 5pm.
Two civil aircraft have now departed Perth for the search area. The remaining three civil aircraft will depart for the search area between 10am and midday.
A total of 34 State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers from Western Australia will be air observers on board the five civil aircraft.
HMAS Success and China’s polar supply ship Xue Long are now in the search area.
Malaysia Airlines just issued this statement:
The search for MH370 continues. Our efforts are now focused in the southern Indian Ocean, where a multi-national team, led by Australia, is combing the waters trying to find debris from the flight.
Our determination to find MH370 remains steadfast. As we have said all along, we will never give up trying to find the plane – in order to bring closure for the families, and to establish exactly what happened to MH370.
1. New satellite images:
Australia, China and France have already released satellite images, showing objects that may be related to MH370.
Yesterday, on 25 March, the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) received new satellite images from Airbus Defence and Space, which is based in France. The images were taken on 23 March.
MRSA analysed the images and – in one area of the ocean measuring some 400 square kilometres – were able to identify 122 potential objects.
Some objects were a metre in length; others were as much as 23 metres in length. Some of the objects appeared to be bright, possibly indicating solid materials.
The objects were located approximately 2,557 kilometres from Perth. We will issue handouts relating to this new information, after this press conference.
MRSA’s findings were immediately forwarded to the Australian Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Perth yesterday. It must be emphasized that we cannot tell whether the potential objects are from MH370. Nevertheless, this is another new lead that will help direct the search operation.
We have now had four separate satellite leads, from Australia, China and France, showing possible debris. It is now imperative that we link the debris to MH370. This will enable us to further reduce the search area, and locate more debris from the plane.
2. Operational update:
Australia is leading the search effort in the southern Indian Ocean, based out of Perth. Malaysia continues to play a co-ordinating role. All countries involved are displaying unprecedented levels of co-operation; that has not changed. Australia has divided the search area into two sectors, East and West.
Today the weather has improved, and twelve planes will travel to the search area – six in the East sector and six in the West.
In the East sector, searches will be conducted by:
– one Australian P3 Orion, and three Australian civilian aircraft.
– one Chinese Ilyushin IL-76.
– one New Zealand P3 Orion.
In the West sector, searches will be conducted by:
– one US P8 Poseidon.
– one Korean P3 Orion.
– one Japanese P3 Orion.
– two Australian P3 Orions, and one civilian aircraft.
Two ships will also join the search operations.
Yesterday ‘HMAS Success’ was redeployed to the south of the search area due to bad weather. Today the ship has returned and will support the search operation in the West sector. Meanwhile, the Chinese ship ‘Xue Long’ has today been deployed to the East sector.
A Japanese Coast Guard gulfstream aircraft left Subang this morning for Perth, to join the search operation.
As I mentioned yesterday, the search operations in the northern corridor, and in the northern part of the southern corridor, have been called off. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent diplomatic notes to all relevant countries to formally inform them of this change.
Before I continue, I would like to convey our appreciation to the Australian authorities, and in particular to Prime Minister Tony Abbot, for making such an extraordinary contribution to the search operation.
3. Chinese Special Envoy
Today, the Prime Minister met with His Excellency Zhang Yesui, the Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy of the Government of China. I also met with His Excellency this afternoon.
During our conversation His Excellency conveyed China’s commitment to continue and intensify the search operation in any way possible, and to deploy any assets that may be required.
Malaysia has provided his His Excellency and his delegation with a full update on the latest information from Inmarsat.
His Excellency and his delegation also received a comprehensive briefing from the international technical team.
4. International Working Group
As I mentioned yesterday, based on the new information provided by Inmarsat, we have established an international working group. The agencies involved in this working group include: Inmarsat, AAIB, the Chinese CAAC and AAID, NTSB, FAA, Boeing and Rolls Royce, as well as the relevant Malaysian authorities.
The role of the working group is to help try and refine the Inmarsat data and, if possible, more accurately determine the final position of MH370.
5. Further information
I should like to note that the CEO of Malindo Airlines, Chandran Rama Murthy, has joined me on stage today, and will be able to answer any questions that you might have.
As I announced yesterday, MAS is now taking a lead in communicating with the families and is conducting their own press conferences. MAS will hold another press conference tomorrow.
New satellite images continue to provide clues in the search for MH370. And with improved weather conditions, aircraft are now able to investigate objects of interest.
I would like to thank once again our international partners for their continued support and assistance. The search for MH370, and the investigation into what happened on board the flight, is now a truly international effort.