Australian jets today resume search for the missing Malaysian Airlines plane


malaysianMelbourne, Mar 21 (PTI) : Australian military jets today resumed their search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the remote southern Indian Ocean, nearly 2,500 kilometres southwest of Perth.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said it was sending five jets back to a storm-lashed area and a merchant ship was already in the vicinity, according to media reports.

An Air Force Orion left Perth for the four-hour flight to the search zone this morning, and another Orion and a Gulfstream jet were due to follow it, the report said.

With satellite images picking ‘two possible objects’ believed to be the missing plane debris, AMSA said the objects on the satellite imaging were assessed as “credible”.

Search teams involving 26 countries are still trying to locate flight MH370, which went missing an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on March 8 with 239 people on board, including five Indians and one Indian-Canadian.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott yesterday said his country was using all resources in the search operations which entered into 14th day today.

“We don’t know what that satellite saw until we get a much closer look at it but this is the most tangible clue in what’s been an utterly baffling mystery,” he said.

“We will do everything we humanly can to try to get to the bottom of this,” he said in Papua New Guinea.

“It’s about the most inaccessible spot that you can imagine on the face of the earth, but if there is anything down there, we will find it,” he added.

However, the AMSA also cautioned that they could be unrelated to flight MH370.

The?images from commercial company DigitalGlobe were taken on Sunday. It has revealed what authorities say are two objects in the water, one as large as 24 metres in length.

A third Air Force Orion and a US Navy Poseidon is also expected to join the search later today.

Yesterday, an Orion failed to?locate the debris due to bad weather conditions.

“The weather conditions were such that we were unable to see for very much of the flight,” Flight Lt Chris Birrer said, adding today weather condition is better.

Former Australian Navy chief Admiral Chris Barrie was quoted in local media as saying that?the larger object in the satellite imager could be a shipping container lost at sea.

“The 24 metres sort of rang that bell in my mind,” he said, adding he expects the search for debris from the missing plane will last days or even weeks.

The mystery of the missing plane continued to baffle aviation and security authorities who have so far not succeeded in tracking the aircraft despite deploying hi-tech radar and other gadgets.



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