China highly concerned about possible Australia MH370 find

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-21 02:27:30

 

 

Chinese relatives react to

Australian debris discovery

 

 

By Yi Ling, Sun Xiaozheng, Qiang Lijing, Bai Xu,

Lü Qiuping, Wang Ruoyao and Yang Yichen

 

 

Chinese relatives reacted calmly on hearing the news that satellite imagery had spotted two objects in the Indian Ocean and could be linked to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Twelve days after the jet disappeared with 239 people on board, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott made the announcement about the sighting on Thursday.

Relatives have lived in hope and despair for almost two weeks.

 

 

SILENCE OF ANXIETY

 

 

Cigarette smoke filled the briefing room of the Metro Park Lido Hotel, where airline officials have been holding daily briefings.

The hotel has been home to relatives of the passengers since the plane went missing. A member of staff told Xinhua some 200 relatives were staying in the hotel. Others have returned home.

People gathered in the briefing room and quietly watched the live broadcast of the Australian press conference at 12:30 p.m. Beijing Time.

A few ladies wiped their tears. Others looked tired, resting on the back of the chairs in front of them.

When an Australian spokesman mentioned “survivors”, loud sighs were heard in the room.

“So they’ve found them?” someone asked. “Nothing has been confirmed,” said another.

Many left the room after the press conference, looking calm but tired with dark eyes.

Staff and volunteers were inside the room to help the relatives.

 

 

WANTING INFORMATION

 

Word circulated in the briefing room that a team of senior officials and military representatives from Malaysia was expected to arrive in Beijing on Thursday night and they would meet the families. It stirred few emotions.

The relatives, sitting around in small groups, discussed what questions to ask later. A woman with a Beijing accent said, “We should think about our questions. We want more information.”

A middle-aged man, wearing a suit and glasses, from east China’s Shandong Province, was every so often informing a group of people the latest news coming from the foreign media.

During discussions, claiming compensation was spoken about.

An American lawyer Keke Feng, co-counsel with the U.S.-based Motley Rice law firm, told Xinhua that she had been invited by relatives to deal with possible compensation.` Feng’s practice, one of America’s largest litigation firms, has dealt with major settlements, including the fatal Air France crash in 2009, the Asiana Airlines crash in 2013, and the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

However, most relatives are still focusing on the search. “What we need is for them to be safe and sound,” said a relative.

 

 

CALL OF LOVE

 

On a large board outside the briefing room, relatives have been writing words to their loved ones.

“My little Doudou, your husband is waiting here to take you home. The Tiffany ring you like is ready for you to wear. I’m waiting for you to come back to marry you,” read one message.

A woman wrote “Jing, all your relatives are waiting for you. Come back home, please,” before she put her hands to her mouth, with tears in her eyes.

Beside her, a young man murmured, “He or she may not see this anyway.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ISLAMABAD   2014-03-21   01:25:15

>>  Pakistan offers help in searching missing Malaysian plane

By Chen Peng

Pakistan offered help in response to the request made by Malaysia to the international community to share any information or any blip on the radars where the missing aircraft could be spotted, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

“Our data was available but our radars did not see anything and rightly so because the aircraft it seems, did not come in this direction,” the Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said when asked about the country’s response to the Malaysian government’s request.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Tuesday called his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the phone and sought his help in tracing Malaysian airline’s missing passenger plane.

“They (Malaysians) called a number of leaders as well to ask for help in investigating and tracing the whereabouts of the missing aircraft,” the Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

She rejected the allegations as absurd in section of the Western media that the plane may have been taken to the Taliban- controlled areas.

“Those who make these allegations undermine their own credibility,” the spokesperson said in Islamabad.

“There are only four or five airports in Pakistan where 777 can land. I don’t think at any stage the governments of Malaysia or China even hinted at such a possibility. So, this was in the realm of imagination and very wild imagination,” she said.

“All along we have said that our sympathies are with the countries whose nationals were on board and more particularly with the families because they have gone through a lot of agony in the last thirteen days.”

“We would have liked to see the aircraft recovered safely but as the time elapses, the chances of that are little,” the spokesperson said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

• • • • • • • • • • • • 

CANBERRA   2014-03-21   01:05:14

>>  Australian, U.S. planes fail to locate debris, Norwegian freighter joins search

An Australian navy P-3 plane and a U.S. P-8 aircraft on Thursday failed to locate suspicious debris in search for the missing Malaysian flight, while a Norwegian freighter, the closest ship to the area, reportedly has arrived to join the search.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) on Thursday posted on its Twitter account that the P-3 crew were unable to locate debris due to cloud and rain, which limited visibility.

It said further aircraft will continue the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which lost contact on March 8 en route from the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

The Australian government revealed earlier Thursday that they had spotted two objects possibly related to the missing plane in the southern Indian Ocean on satellite images, approximately 2,500 km southwest of the Australian port city of Perth.

However, the U.S. 7th Fleet’s Commander William Marks said radar hits “of significant size” seen Thursday by a U.S. P-8 aircraft searching for the plane were not linked to the objects identified by Australian authorities.

The radar hits were “typical radar returns that air crew sees on a routine basis,” Marks told Xinhua in an emailed statement. The U.S. P-8 aircraft has returned and landed in Perth, and confirmed that no objects were seen.

Norwegian freighter “The Hoegh St. Petersburg” from the Hoegh Autoliners was the closest ship to the area where the two objects were spotted by satellite four days ago. It reportedly has arrived in the area and started searching.

The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association on Thursday said the freighter was asked to change its course to join the search. A spokesman for the association told Xinhua that any findings by the freighter will be reported directly to Australian search and rescue authorities.

It is a large area covering 100 square km and so it will take some time for the sailors to be able to spot something, said the spokesman.

The 230 meter-long freighter was on its way from Port Louis, Mauritius, to Perth when it was called to assist in the search.

Satellite and radar imagery confirmed by the AMSA as “credible lead” could be parts of the fuselage and wing of the missing Malaysian jetliner, a U.S. Navy source in Japan said Thursday.

Smaller objects detected around the two larger objects — 25 meters and five meters long in size respectively — could theoretically be debris from the plane, the Yokosuka Naval Base source said, requesting anonymity.

If the objects were confirmed to be parts of the missing MH370, the plane could possibly have made a soft-landing on the ocean rather than a nosedive as the debris has not been scattered, the source told Xinhua.

The source, an expert in maritime avionics, added that the satellite imagery was regarded as “highly credible.”

U.S. company DigitalGlobe said Thursday that it has provided the Australian government with satellite imagery showing objects in the southern Indian Ocean that might be debris of the missing MH370.

“We can confirm that DigitalGlobe has provided imagery to search officials in Australia, and we have been informed by an Australian government official that it was our imagery …” DigitalGlobe told Xinhua in an emailed statement.

Noting that it has no further information, DigitalGlobe pledged to “continue to cooperate with authorities to provide any and all information” to assist the search, said the U.S. provider of high-resolution satellite images.

Meanwhile, AMSA updated by midnight Thursday the information about the search operation related to the missing plane, saying the four aircraft it commissioned have covered an area of 23,000 square km.

“Four aircraft were tasked by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority on Thursday to a 23,000 square km area about 2,500 km southwest of Perth,” AMSA said in its latest media release.

Another merchant ship is en route to the area. And the Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Success is also en route to the search area. But it will take days for them to arrive.

AMSA said the search will continue on Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

• • • • • • 

BEIJING   2014-03-21   01:00:19

>>  Xi, Abbott hold phone talks over new findings on missing jet

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott held a phone conversation Thursday over possible objects from a missing Malaysian jetliner.

Abbott briefed Xi on the latest developments in Australia’s search mission.

Australia had dispatched aircraft and warships to the sea area in the southern Indian Ocean, more than 3,000 km southwest off Perth, where suspicious objects possibly related to the missing plane were found through satellite images, he said.

Voicing appreciation for Abbott’s briefing on the new developments of Australia’s search operation and its cooperation with China, Xi said the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is a calamity.

“Since the plane lost contact, our hearts have been with the lives of the people from different countries on board the plane, including 154 Chinese and six Australians,” Xi said.

The president said that upon learning of the incident, he immediately instructed departments concerned to go all out for search and rescue and prepare for all emergency work.

Many countries, including Australia, participated in search and rescue, he said, adding that China thanked Australia for its role in the operation along the southern corridor, a search area stretching from Indonesia deep into the southern Indian Ocean.

Although search and rescue is undergoing difficulties due to the complicated circumstances in relevant waters, Xi said, full efforts should be made as long as there is still a gleam of hope.

He voiced the hope that Australia and other relevant parties would continue to do their utmost in the search and inform China of developments as soon as possible.

China also hopes that Australia could provide help in China’s search operation, Xi said.

China is willing to maintain close communication and cooperation with Australia, he said.

At this difficult moment, the sincere cooperation between China and Australia shows that the hearts of the two peoples are linked, said Xi.

Abbott said Australia would continue to make every effort in the search and rescue and in investigation. Australia is ready to cooperate and share information promptly with China, he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

• • • • • • 

BEIJING   2014-03-21   00:32:32

>>  China confirms MH370 did not enter the territory of China

By Cui Wenyi

China on Thursday confirmed the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 did not enter the territory of China, said a statement released by Chinese Foreign Ministry.

According to the statement,the relevant departments of China have made all-out efforts to search the missing MH370 in recent days at the request of the Malaysian side.

China has analyzed data from satellites and radar, which were collected on parts of its territory covered by a northern corridor that the flight MH370 could have flown through, and verified that the aircraft did not enter the territory of China,the statement said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-21   00:22:42

>>  China confirms MH370 did not enter the territory of China

By Cui Wenyi

China on Thursday confirmed the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 did not enter the territory of China, said a statement released by Chinese Foreign Ministry.

According to the statement,the relevant departments of China have made all-out efforts to search the missing MH370 in recent days at the request of the Malaysian side.

China has analyzed data from satellites and radar, which were collected on parts of its territory covered by a northern corridor that the flight MH370 could have flown through, and verified that the aircraft did not enter the territory of China,the statement said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

OSLO   2014-03-20   23:58:16

>>  Norwegian freighter performs night search for missing MH370 flight

By Li Guorong

A Norwegian freighter was continuing with a search mission for the missing MH370 flight in the southern Indian Ocean on Thursday night, said the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association (NSA) on Thursday.

Sturla Henriksen, managing director of the NSA, said the M/S Hoegh St.Petersburg freighter from the Hoegh Autoliners had been conducting the search for 12 hours prior to the press conference which started at 14:30 (1330 GMT).

The search would continue into the night at a reduced intensity due to low visibility, said Henriksen at the press conference held jointly with managers from the Heogh Autoliners.

The Norwegian freighter was the only vessel in the 100-square-kilometer area where two large objects possibly from the Malaysian Airlines plane were reportedly discovered.

“We can confirm that there are no other commercial vessels or any naval ships in that area,” said Henriksen.

The 230-long-meter freighter received a request from the Australian rescue center two days ago for assisting in the search when it was on route from Port Louis, capital of Mauritius, to the Australian port of Perth.

The freighter would stay in the area as long as needed and report to the Australian rescue center, which has been coordinating the search operation in the southern Indian Ocean, but the NSA would closely follow the developments, said Henriksen.

The Norwegian freighter was called for assistance because it was the closest vessel to the area, a spokesman for the NSA told Xinhua earlier on Thursday.

An unprecedented multinational search operation has been conducted since contact with the plane was lost in the early morning of March 8.

The plane was carrying 239 people including crew members when it went missing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

• • • • • • 

LONDON   2014-03-20   23:54:10

>>  Britain deploys Royal Navy ship to help search missing plane

Britain will deploy a Royal Navy ship to help with the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 plane in the southern corridor of the Indian Ocean, British Ministry of Defense (Mod) has announced.

The vessel, named HMS Echo, is a British Royal Navy coastal survey ship currently cruising in the Indian Ocean. It is estimated that the ship will take several days before arriving in the expected area for the search operations.

“The exact role HMS Echo will play will depend on the status and the nature of the investigation by the time it arrives in that area,” a Downing Street spokesperson said Thursday.

Launched in 2002, HMS Echo was designed to carry out a wide range of survey work, including support to submarine and amphibious operations, through the collection of oceanographic and bathymetric data, according to the MoD.

Australian authorities said earlier Thursday that two objects, one of which was about 24 meters long, had been spotted in the southern Indian Ocean on satellite imagery, and that they might be related to the missing plane.

China’s icebreaker for Antarctic research, Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, is “fully prepared” to search for the missing MH370 airplane in an area where possible debris was spotted, Chinese maritime authorities said Thursday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-20   23:22:56

>>  China confirms MH370 did not enter territory of China

By Cui Wenyi

China on Thursday confirmed the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 did not enter the territory of China, said a statement released by Chinese Foreign Ministry. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

• • • • • • 

CANBERRA   2014-03-20   22:46:02

>>  Australian aircraft cover 23,000 sq km in searching flight MH370

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) updated by midnight Thursday the information about the search operation related to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, saying the four aircraft it commissioned have covered an area of 23,000 square kilometers.

“Four aircraft were tasked by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority on Thursday to a 23,000 square kilometer area about 2, 500 kilometers south-west of Perth,” AMSA said in its latest media release.

Two Royal Australia Air Force (RAAF) AP-3C Orions, a U.S. Navy P8 Poseidon, and a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion were utilized, along with an RAAF C-130J Hercules aircraft.

According to AMSA’s earlier release, the C-130J Hercules aircraft was tasked to drop datum marker buoys.

According to the latest release by AMSA’s Twitter account, Royal Australian Air Force P3 crew “unable to locate debris,” ” Cloud and rain limited visibility. Further aircraft to continue search for MH370.”

A merchant ship arrived in the search area on Thursday evening. Another merchant ship is en route to the area.

A total of six merchant ships have assisted in the search since a shipping broadcast was issued on Monday night.

The Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Success is also en route to the search area. But it will take days for it to arrive at the related area.

Earlier Thursday afternoon, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told parliament “new and credible information” had come to light in the search for MH370.

Abbott said he had informed Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak of the developments. But he warned against drawing any premature conclusions or hopes on the search.

AMSA confirmed at the press conference that followed that it has received an expert assessment of commercial satellite imagery of objects it suspects may indicate a “debris field” from the flight, floating in the ocean 2,500 kilometers south-west of Perth.

AMSA said the search will continue on Friday.

 

 

 

 

ABOARD XUELONG    2014-03-20 22:38:14 –  22:38:20

 

The Chinese icebreaker Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, awaits orders for the search of

missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at the port of Perth, a southwestern port

city of Australia, on March 20, 2014. Xuelong will set off to the waters where

suspected debris of the missing flight MH370 has been found, according to the State

Oceanic Administration of China.   Photos by Tang Zhijian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR    2014-03-20 21:55:58 – 21:56:07

 

 

Malaysia’s Minister of Defence and Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein

speaks during a press conference at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur International Airport

on March 20, 2014. The Australian government announced earlier Thursday that they

had spotted on satellite imagery two objects possibly related to the missing plane in the

southern Indian Ocean, some 2,500 km southwest of the Australian port city of Perth.

As of now, there has been no official visual confirmation of the possible wreckage.

Photo by Wang Shen 

 

Malaysia’s Minister of Defence and Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein

(2nd from left) answers to media during a press conference at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur

International Airport on March 20, 2014.   Photo by Wang Shen 

 

Malaysia’s Minister of Defence and Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (right)

and Director General of the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation Azharuddin Abdul Rahman

attend a press conference at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur International Airport on March 20, 2014.

Photo by Wang Shen 

 

Malaysia’s Minister of Defence and Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein

(center) answers to media during a press conference at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur

International Airport on March 20, 2014.   Photo by Wang Shen

 

 

 

 

 

 

• • • • • • 

TOKYO   2014-03-20   21:35:48

>>  Satellite imagery may show part of fuselage, wing of missing MH370: source

By Liu Tian and Jon Day

Satellite and radar imagery confirmed by Australia’s Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) as “credible lead” could be parts of the fuselage and wing of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370, a U.S. Navy source said here Thursday.

Smaller objects detected around the two larger objects — 25 meters and five meters long in size respectively — could theoretically be debris from the plane, the Yokosuka Naval Base source said, requesting anonymity.

If the objects were confirmed to be parts of the missing MH370, the plane could possibly have made a soft-landing on the ocean rather than a nosedive as the debris has not been scattered, the source told Xinhua.

The source, an expert in maritime avionics, added that the satellite imagery was regarded as “highly credible.”

The Australian government announced earlier Thursday that they had spotted on satellite imagery two objects possibly related to the missing plane in the southern Indian Ocean, some 2,500 km southwest of the Australian port city of Perth.

As of now, there has been no official visual confirmation of the possible wreckage. AMSA said Thursday afternoon through its Twitter account that a Royal Australian Air Force Orion plane dispatched to the site failed to locate suspicious debris due to cloud and rain.

ABC News also reported that U.S. Navy P-8 aircraft had landed back at Perth after searching for the possible debris in the suspicious area, but no objects had been seen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-20   21:28:54

>>  U.S. company provides satellite imagery of possible debris of missing jet

By Qi Wei

U.S. company DigitalGlobe said Thursday that it has provided the Australian government with satellite imagery showing objects in the southern Indian Ocean that might be debris of a missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

“We can confirm that DigitalGlobe has provided imagery to search officials in Australia, and we have been informed by an Australian government official that it was our imagery Prime Minister Abbott referred to in his recent comments,” DigitalGlobe told Xinhua in an emailed statement.

Noting that it has no further information, DigitalGlobe pledged to “continue to cooperate with authorities to provide any and all information” to assist the search, said the U.S. provider of high-resolution satellite images.

Earlier Thursday, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Parliament that new satellite images showed two objects some 2,500 km southwest of the Australian port of Perth. The discovery, he said, could be new and credible information as the location was in the swath of possible paths of Flight MH370 that went missing two weeks ago.

Australia dispatched a Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orion to search relevant waters but failed to locate the objects due to cloud and rain.

The Boeing 777-200 aircraft, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, including 154 Chinese, went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8. Search and rescue operations involving a total of 26 countries have been carried out ever since but all efforts have proved to be futile so far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

OSLO   2014-03-20   21:27:32

>>  Norewegian freighter joins search for MH370 flight in southern Indian Ocean

By Li Guorong 

A Norwegian freighter has joined the search for the missing MH370 flight in the southern Indian Ocean, said the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association on Thursday.

In a statement, the association said the freighter was asked to change her course to join the search as she was the closest ship to the area where large-size objects possibly from the missing Malaysian Airlines plane were reportedly found earlier in the day.

A spokesman for the association told Xinhua that any findings by the freighter from the area will be reported directly to Australian search and rescue authorities.

It is a large area covering 100 square kilometers and so it will take some time for the sailors to be able to spot something, said the spokesman.

“At this point we have no other information other than that we can confirm that the M/S Hoegh St.Petersburg from the Hoegh Autoliners, on the request of Australian authorities, are assisting in the search for the missing plane from Malaysia Airlin,” said Haakon Svane, head of contingency secretariat of the association.

The freighter, which is 230 meters long, was on her way from Port Louis, Mauritius, to the Australian port of Perth when she was called to assist in the search.

An unprecedented multinational search operation has been conducted since contact with the plane was lost in the early morning of March 8.

The plane was carrying 239 people including crew members when it went missing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-20   20:55:32

>>  Chinese vessels head south for MH370 search

By Li Zhihui

Chinese naval vessels are heading for the south Indian Ocean to search for the missing Malaysian airplane after Australian authorities reported that suspicious objects were found.

The Chinese navy currently has two fleets engaged in the search missions. They are about 2,300 and 3,100 nautical miles, respectively, from the waters where possible debris of the missing MH370 were found, navy spokesman Liang Yang said on Thursday.

The navy adjusted its search focus immediately after receiving the report from Australia.

According to Wednesday’s plan, the Jinggangshan amphibious docking vessel was leading a fleet through the Malacca Strait and into waters west of the Andaman Islands. Another fleet consisting of supply ship Qiandaohu, missile destroyer Haikou and amphibious transport dock Kunlunshan were heading for waters southwest of Sumatra through the Sunda Strait.

Australian authorities said earlier Thursday that two objects, with the large one about 24 meters long, had been spotted in the southern Indian Ocean on satellite imagery, and that they might be related to the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

China hopes Australia can confirm whether the two objects are related to the plane as soon as possible, said Chinese ambassador Ma Zhaoxu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CANBERRA   2014-03-20  20:41:47

>>  Australian aircraft fails to locate suspicious debris of missing plane

An Australian P-3C Orion aircraft has returned to Perth after failing to locate objects possibly related to a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said on Thursday.

“P3 crew unable to locate debris” due to cloud and rain, which limited visibility, AMSA said through its Twitter account, adding that further aircraft will continue search for flight MH370.

A New Zealand Royal Air Force Orion has yet to return from the search for the suspicious objects, sources told Xinhua, adding that no relevant findings have been made by the three aircraft which have returned including a U.S. Navy Poseidon and two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Orion.

The Australian government said earlier Thursday that they had spotted on satellite images two objects possibly related to the missing plane in the southern Indian Ocean, approximately 2,500 km southwest of Australian port city of Perth.

An AMSA staff member told Xinhua that it might take days before rescuers can finally confirm whether the suspicious objects belong to the missing plane.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told parliament “new and credible information” had come to light in the search for MH370.

Abbott said he had informed Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak of the developments. But he warned against drawing any premature conclusions on the search.

“We must keep in mind the task of locating these objects will be extremely difficult and it may turn out that they are not related to the search for flight MH370,” Abbott said.

The source who refused to be named told Xinhua that experts studying the satellite images held that the objects are “very unlikely to be something else”.

The position where they were spotted by the satellite are only about 100 nautical miles from one of the routes which had been established by the United States National Transportation Safety Board based on the analysis of the missing aircraft’s speed and fuel reserves.

Flight MH370 operated on a Boeing 777-200 aircraft with 239 people on board has gone missing since it lost contact with air controllers en route from Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that the missing jetliner was deliberately diverted from its original course to one of two possible directions, including a northern corridor stretching approximately from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand as well as a southern one estimated from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OSLO   2014-03-20   20:33:35

>>  Norewegian ship joins search for MH370 flight in southern Indian Ocean

By Li Guorong

A Norwegian ship has joined the search for the missing MH370 flight in the southern Indian Ocean, said the Norwegian Shipowners Association on Thursday.

In a press statement, the association the St. Petersburg ship changed her course to join the search as she was the closest ship to the area where large-size objects possibly from the Malaysian Airlines plane were reportedly found earlier in the day.

A spokesman for the association told Xinhua that any findings by the ship from the area will be reported directly to Australian authorities.

It is a large area covering 100 square kilometers and so it will take some time for the ship to be able to spot something, said the spokesman.

An unprecedented multinational search operation has been conducted since contact with the plane was lost in the early morning of March 8.

The plane was carrying 239 people including crew members when it went missing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-20   20:31:16

>>  China’s Xuelong icebreaker ready for MH370 search

By Li Zhihui

China’s icebreaker for Antarctic research, Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, is “fully prepared” to search for the missing MH370 airplane in an area where possible debris was spotted, maritime authorities said Thursday.

The icebreaker, now anchored in Perth, a southwestern port city of Australia, is ready to set off to the waters where the suspected debris was found, according to the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) of China.

“Once we receive the order, we will spare no efforts (for the search),” said Qin Weijia, deputy director of the SOA’s polar expedition office.

It would take about four days for the icebreaker to arrive in the waters about 1,000 nautical miles from Perth.

Having passed by the waters many times in recent years, the expedition team on Xuelong has “good knowledge” of the area which would be helpful for the search, Qin said.

Australian authorities said earlier Thursday that two objects, with the large one about 24 meters long, had been spotted in the southern Indian Ocean on satellite imagery, and that they might be related to the missing Malaysian jetliner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CANBERRA   2014-03-20   19:55:49

>>  Australian navy plane fails to locate suspicious debris: AMSA

By Shang Jun

An Australian navy P-3 plane has failed to locate suspicious debris spotted during the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight, Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said on Thursday.

AMSA posted on its Twitter account that the crew were “unable to locate debris” due to cloud and rain, which limited visibility.

It said further aircraft will continue the search for the flight, which lost contact with the ground on March 8 en route from the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

The Australian government revealed earlier Thursday that they had spotted two objects possibly related to the missing plane in the southern Indian Ocean on satellite images, approximately 2,500 km southwest of the Australian port city of Perth.

However, the 7th Fleet’s Commander William Marks said radar hits “of significant size” seen Thursday by a U.S. P-8 aircraft searching for the plane were not linked to the objects identified by Australian authorities.

The radar hits were “typical radar returns that air crew sees on a routine basis,” Marks told Xinhua in an emailed statement. The U.S. P-8 aircraft has returned and landed in Perth, and confirmed that no objects were seen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-20   19:04:06

>>  China mulls sending Xuelong after Australia findings

By Zhu Shaobin and Lin Hongmei

Talks between the Ministry of Transport and the State Oceanic Administration have taken place over the possibility of sending China’s research vessel and icebreaker Xuelong to search for the missing MH370 airplane, an official said Thursday.

The plan was discussed after Australian authorities said earlier Thursday that two objects, with the large one about 24 meters long, had been spotted in the southern Indian Ocean on satellite imagery.

Vice minister of transport He Jianzhong said that Xuelong was the closest Chinese vessel to the suspected waters. However, it is expected to take five days for the vessel to arrive at the site if the plan is confirmed, he said.

No Chinese merchant ships are sailing across the suspected waters, which are far from the merchant ships’ sailing courses, he said.

Meanwhile, he said that the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center has contacted Australia’s search forces and will closely follow relevant news and make necessary adjustments to China’s search plans.

The Xuelong is a scientific research vessel and icebreaker used in China’s Antarctic research.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING & CANBERRA   2014-03-20   18:58:31

>>  Search for possible MH370 debris “keeps getting better”: Australian rescue staff

By Shuai Anning

The search for two objects possibly related to the missing Malaysia Airlines MH 370 kept “getting better,” an Australian maritime rescue staff member told Xinhua Thursday.

It might take days before rescuers can finally confirm whether the suspicious objects belong to the missing plane, the staff member with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), reached from Beijing, told Xinhua by telephone.

The man, who declined to give his name, did not further elaborate on the ongoing search mission.

A Xinhua correspondent in Canberra has confirmed the AMSA’s press service usually has someone answering its phone around the clock, but calls to the agency’s number are now being diverted to an answering machine that asks callers to send their questions to a designated email address.

Two groups of Xinhua journalists respectively in Beijing and Canberra have sent their questions to the provided email address, but they are yet to get a reply.

Meanwhile, the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organization, which was responsible for analyzing the satellite images that helped identify two suspicious objects possibly related to the missing plane, refused to answer questions of a Xinhua correspondent in Canberra, referring all queries to the Australian Defense Department.0 However, calls to the press office of the Defense Department ran unanswered on Thursday.

John Young, an official from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, said earlier Thursday at a briefing that one of the objects is as large as 24 meters in size while the other is smaller.

Australia has dispatched aircraft and ships to locate the objects, which Young said were “probably the best lead we have right now.”

 

 

 

 

 

CANBERRA   2014-03-20   18:31:30

>>  Australian navy plane fails to locate suspicious debris of missing plane: AMSA

By Shang Jun

An Australian navy P-3 plane failed to locate suspicious debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight, Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said on Thursday.

“P3 crew unable to locate debris” due to cloud and rain, which limited visibility, AMSA said through its Twitter account.

It said further aircraft will continue search for the flight, which lost contact with the ground 12 days ago en route from Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

The Australian government said earlier Thursday that they had spotted on satellite images two objects possibly related to the missing plane in the southern Indian Ocean, approximately 2,500 km southwest of Australian port city of Perth.

An AMSA staff member told Xinhua that it might take days before rescuers can finally confirm whether the suspicious objects belong to the missing plane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING    2014-03-20   18:22:55

>>  China’s Xuelong icebreaker ready for MH370 search

By Li Zhihui and Luo Sha

China’s icebreaker for Antarctic research, Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, is ready to search the possible area for the missing Malaysian airplane, maritime authorities said Thursday.

The icebreaker, now anchored in Perth, a southwestern port city of Australia, will set off to the waters where suspected debris of the missing flight MH370 has been found, according to the State Oceanic Administration of China.

It is waiting for the order to set off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CANBERRA   2014-03-20   18:22:29

>>  U.S. radar hits in MH370 search not linked to Australian debris sighting

By Zhu Junqing and Lin Xiaochun

The radar hits seen Thursday by a U.S. P-8 aircraft searching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are not linked to the suspicious objects identified by Australian authorities, the U.S. 7th Fleet said.

The radar hits were “typical radar returns that air crew sees on a routine basis,” the commander of the 7th Fleet, William Marks, told Xinhua in an emailed statement.

Earlier in the day, the P-8 aircraft picked up radar signals indicating a large object in the southern Indian Ocean, U.S. broadcaster ABC quoted its correspondent David Wright, who is onboard the P-8 plane, as reporting. The report said that the radar is getting “hits of significant size” and that the crew are trying to get visuals.

Australian authorities said Thursday that two objects have been spotted in the southern Indian Ocean on satellite imagery that might be related to the missing Malaysian jetliner.

However, Marks said the two were not linked. “The radar returns on the P-8 were not associated with the announcements by the Australian prime minister earlier today — it seems it was just coincidental timing,” he said, adding, “We have no indication of debris from the MH370 wreckage.”

The U.S. 7th Fleet said it’s “working closely in support of the Australian-led effort in this sector.”

John Young, an official from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, said earlier Thursday at a briefing that one of the objects is as large as 24 meters in size while the other is smaller.

Australia has dispatched aircraft and ships to locate the objects, which Young said were “probably the best lead we have right now.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

CANBERRA   2014-03-20   18:18:25

>>  Urgent: Australian navy plane fails to locate

suspicious debris of missing plane, AMSA

By Shang Jun

An Australian navy P-3 plane failed to locate suspicious debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight, Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said on Thursday. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-20   16:41:07

>>  Search operation over possible MH370 debris

“keeps getting better”: Australian rescue staff

By Ming Jinwei

The search operation over two objects possibly related to the missing Malaysia Airlines MH 370 kept “getting better,” an Australian maritime rescue staff member told Xinhua Thursday.

It might take days before rescuers can finally confirm whether the suspicious objects belong to the missing plane, the staff member with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, reached from Beijing, told Xinhua on telephone.

He, who declined to give his name, did not further elaborate on the ongoing search mission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-20   16:31:40

>>  Urgent: Search operation over possible MH370 debris

“keeps getting better”: Australian rescue staff

By Ming Jinwei

The search operation over two objects possibly related to the missing Malaysia Airlines MH 370 kept “getting better,” an Australian rescue staff told Xinhua Thursday. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR   2014-03-20   16:24:15

>>  Malaysia PM holds meeting after objects found possibly related to MH370

By Xie Xiyu and Zha Bochao

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Thursday held a meeting with Chief of Defence Forces Mohd Zulkifeli Mohd Zin after suspicious objects related to a missing Malaysian aircraft that disappeared on March 8 was found in the southern Indian Ocean.

Najib said in his latest post on Twitter that he held the meeting after Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott had called him to convey the news of the objects being sighted on satellite imagery.

“Meeting my Chief of Defence Forces. After call from @ TonyAbbottMHR, awaiting confirmation from Australia on the objects found,” he said in his Twitter.

Abbott told Parliament on Thursday that new satellite images showed two possible objects in the ocean, and new and credible information had come to light in relation to the search.

“Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified,” Abbott said.

But he also cautioned, “We must keep in mind the task of locating these objects will be extremely difficult and it may turn out that they are not related to the search for flight MH370.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

SYDNEY   2014-03-20   16:10:36

>>  China hopes Australia can confirm whether

suspicious objects related to missing plane: Ambassador

By Zhu Dongyang

China hopes Australia can confirm whether the two objects spotted by satellites are related to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 as soon as possible, said Chinese Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu on Thursday.

The Chinese government will continue to communicate and coordinate with Australia closely over the matter, Ma said in a telephone interview with Xinhua.

Ever since the Beijing-bound plane lost contact with air traffic controllers on March 8, the Chinese embassy has been closely monitoring the developments of the incident, and exchanged information for many times with the related departments of the Australian government, according to the Chinese diplomat.

The Australian government briefed the Chinese embassy in a timely manner on the two suspicious objects that had been found by satellites and possibly related to the missing plane, Ma said.

“China and Australia are in close contact over the matter,” he added.

The Chinese embassy, which has activated an emergency response mechanism, will continue to communicate with Australia and do its best to handle the situation in line with the instructions of the Chinese government, he said.

Ma’s remarks came after Australian authorities said earlier Thursday that two objects, with the large one about 24 meters long, have been spotted in the southern Indian Ocean on satellite imagery that might be related to the missing Malaysian jetliner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CANBERRA   2014-03-20   16:06:26

>>  U.S. 7th Fleet says P-8 radar hits not believed linked to

objects identified by Australians

By Ming Jinwei

The radar hits seen Thursday by a U.S. P-8 aircraft searching for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 are not believed to be related to objects identified by Australian authorities, the U.S. 7th Fleet said.

Earlier in the day, the P-8 aircraft picked up radar signals of a large object in the southern Indian Ocean.

The radar is getting “hits of significant size” and the crew are trying to get visuals on hits, U.S. broadcaster ABC said in earlier tweets quoting correspondent David Wright, who is on board the P-8 plane.

Australian authorities said Thursday that two objects have been spotted in the southern Indian Ocean on satellite imagery that might be related to the missing Malaysian jetliner.

John Young, an official from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, said at a briefing that one of the objects is as large as 24 meters in size and the other one is smaller.

Australia has dispatched aircraft and ships to locate those objects, which Young said mark the “best lead we have” right now.

 

 

 

 

SYDNEY   2014-03-20   15:58:56

>>  China hopes Australia can confirm whether

suspicious objects related to missing plane: Ambassador

By Zhu Dongyang

China hopes Australia can confirm whether the two objects spotted by satellites are related to the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight as soon as possible, said Chinese Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu on Thursday.

The Chinese government will continue to communicate and coordinate with Australia closely over the matter, Ma said in a telephone interview with Xinhua.

Ever since the Beijing-bound plane lost contact with air traffic controllers on March 8, the Chinese embassy has been closely monitoring the developments of the incident, and exchanged information for many times with the related departments of the Australian government, according to the Chinese diplomat.

The Australian government briefed the Chinese embassy in a timely fashion on the two suspicious objects that had been found by satellites and possibly related to the missing plane, Ma said.

“China and Australia are in close contact over the matter,” he added.

The Chinese embassy, which has activiated an emergency response mechanism, will continue to communicate with Australia and do its best to handle the situation in line with the instructions of the Chinese government, he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SYDNEY   2014-03-20   15:37:21

>>  Urgent: China hopes Australia can confirm whether

suspicious objects related to missing plane: Ambassador

By Zhu Dongyang

China hopes Australia can confirm whether the two objects spotted by satellites are related to the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight as soon as possible, said Chinese Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu on Thursday.

The Chinese government will continue to communicate and coordinate with Australia closely over the matter, Ma said in a telephone interview with Xinhua.

 

 

 

 

 

SYDNEY & CANBERRA & MELBOURNE   2014-03-20   14:53:04

>>  Australia locates possible debris of missing Malaysian flight,

sending aircraft to assess

By Zhao Xiaona

Australia announced on Thursday that it had spotted two objects possibly related to the search for the missing Malaysian flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean and had sent four aircraft to the area to assess.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Parliament that new satellite images showed two possible objects in the ocean, and new and credible information had come to light in relation to the search.

“Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified,” Abbott said.

But the prime minister also cautioned “We must keep in mind the task of locating these objects will be extremely difficult and it may turn out that they are not related to the search for flight MH370.” The Australian prime minister said he had informed his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak about the latest developments.

Shortly after the announcement, Australia held a press briefing on the latest development on the search for the lost Malaysian plane in Canberra.

John Young, an official from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said at the briefing that the biggest object found possibly related to missing Malaysian flight MH370 is 24 meters in size and the another one is smaller.

John Young said that the objects are in the vicinity of the search area defined and searched in the past two days and the assessment of these images was provided by the Australian Geospatial Intelligence Organization.

He said it was the best lead they had right now.

“The objects are relatively indistinct. The indication to me is of objects that are of a reasonable size and probably awash with water and bobbing up and down over the surface.”

“This is a lead. It is probably the best lead we have right now, ” he said.

He also said that they would be difficult to find. “We need to get there, find them, see them, assess them…”

Xinhua has been told by an AMSA spokesman of the areas extreme remoteness.

“It is a challenging search operation and AMSA continues to hold grave fears for the passengers and crew on board the missing flight,” the spokesman said.

So far four aircraft have been deployed to locate the floating objects in the southern Indian Ocean, approximately 2,500 km southwest of Perth, in possible connection with a missing Malaysian jetliner, with one having already arrived there, AMSA said on Thursday.

AMSA said it is coordinating the search for the missing aircraft, with assistance from the Australian Defense Force, the New Zealand Air Force and the U.S. Navy.

AMSA’s Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) Australia earlier received satellite imagery of two objects possibly related to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The assessment of these images was provided by the Australian Geospatial Intelligence Organization as a possible indication of debris south of the search area that has been the focus of the search operation.

After the Australian prime minister informed his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak on the development earlier in the day, a Malaysian official said in a statement “The Australian High Commissioner has also briefed me on the situation.” Hishammuddin Hussein, minister of defense and acting minister of transport of Malaysia, said at this stage, the Australian officials had yet to establish whether these objects were indeed related to the search for MH370.

The Boeing 777-200 aircraft, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, including 154 Chinese, went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8. A total of 26 countries have been involved in the search and rescue operations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-20   14:07:33

>>  China highly concerned about possible Australia MH370 find

Hou Lijun and Liu Hua

China paid great attention to Australia’s possible findings related to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Thursday.

Two objects possibly related to flight MH370 have been sighted by satellite in the remote southern Indian Ocean, Australian officials said Thursday.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told parliament that “new and credible information” based on satellite imagery had come to light, and that four long-range surveillance planes were being diverted to look into the find in the southern Indian Ocean.

China expects the Australian side to send vessels and airplanes as soon as possible to related waters for search and verification, said Hong.

He said the Chinese Foreign Ministry has ordered the embassy and consulates in Australia to keep in close touch with the Australian authorities and assist the Australian side in the searching and rescuing work.

The Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, mysteriously disappeared in the early hours of March 8. A total of 239 people were on board, including 154 Chinese passengers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SYDNEY   2014-03-20   13:58:58

>>  Four aircraft to locate objects: AMSA

By Zhao Xiaona

Four aircraft have been deployed to locate the floating objects in southern Indian Ocean, approximately 2,500 km southwest of Perth, in possible connection with a missing Malaysian jetliner, according to Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) on Thursday.

AMSA says it is coordinating the search for the missing aircraft, with assistance from the Australian Defence Force, the New Zealand Air Force and the United States Navy.

AMSA’s Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) Australia earlier received satellite imagery of two objects possibly related to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The assessment of these images was provided by the Australian Geospatial Intelligence Organization as a possible indication of debris south of the search area that has been the focus of the search operation.

John Young, AMSA Emergency Response Division, said at a news briefing that the objects are in the vicinity of the search area defined and searched in the past two days.

John Young said the images indicate that one of the objects measures around 24 metres in length.

He said, “The indications to me is of objects that are a reasonable size and probably awash with water bobbing up and down under the surface.”

A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Orion aircraft arrived in the area about 1.50 p.m.

A further three aircraft have been tasked by RCC Australia to the area later in the day, including a Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion and United States Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft.

The Poseidon aircraft is expected to arrive at 3 p.m. The second RAAF Orion is expected to depart RAAF Base Pearce at 6 p.m. The New Zealand Orion is due to depart at 8 p.m.

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 6 p.m.

Meanwhile, the HMAS Success is en route to the scene. The ship is equipped to recover any objects located.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Thursday that he had spoken to the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak of the new developments, while warning against drawing any conclusion or hopes on the search.

“We must keep in mind the task of locating these objects will be extremely difficult and it may turn out that they are not related to the search for flight MH370,” Abbott said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CANBERRA   2014-03-20   13:46:18

>>  U.S. searching aircraft picks up radar signature of large object : onboard reporter

By Ming Jinwei

A reporter on board a U.S. P-8 aircraft searching for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 said Thursday that the crew have picked up radar signals of a large object in the Indian Ocean possibly linked to the missing plane.

The radar is getting “hits of significant size” and the crew are trying to get visuals on hits, U.S. broadcaster ABC said in a tweet quoting correspondent David Wright.

“All indications something down there,” added the tweet.

The post came shortly after Australian authorities said two objects have been spotted in the southern Indian Ocean on satellite imagery that might be related to the missing Boeing 777 aircraft.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-20 13:43:13

>>  Urgent: China highly concerned about possible Australia MH370 find

By Hou Lijun

China paid great attention to Australia’s possible findings related to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Thursday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-20   13:18:07 — 16:11:18

 

File photo taken on March 18, 2014 shows a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion aircraft

arrives at RAAF Base Pearce, Western Australia, to join the Australian Maritime Safety

Authority-led search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced on Thursday that objects possibly

related to the search for the missing Malaysian flight MH370 had been found in the southern

Indian Ocean.   Photo –  Xinhua/Australian Department of Defence


The TV image from CNN shows Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) official

John Young speaking at a press conference in Canberra, Australia, on March 20, 2014.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said on Thursday that two objects

possibly related to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight have been spotted, with the large

one about 24 meters long.   Photos – Xinhua/CNN 

 

Photo taken on March 20, 2014 shows the outer dooe scene of Australian Maritime Safety

Authority(AMSA) in Canberra, Australia. The AMSA announced on Thursday that objects

possibly related to the search for the missing Malaysian flight MH370 had been found in

the southern Indian Ocean.   Photo – Xinhua 

 

Photo released by Australian Department of Defence shows a Royal Australian Air Force

(RAAF) AP-3C Orion aircraft starting its engines at RAAF Base Pearce, Western Australia,

on March 19, 2014 prior to departing on a sortie to support the Australian Maritime Safety

Authority-led search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Photo – Xinhua/Australian Department of Defence 

 

Photo released by Australian Department of Defence shows Royal Australian Air Force

Flight Engineer, Warrant Officer Ron Day keeping watch for any debris or wreckage

during the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on March 19, 2014

in the Southern Indian Ocean.   Photo – Xinhua/Australian Department of Defence 

 

Photo released by Australian Department of Defence shows Royal Australian Air Force

pilot, Flight Lieutenant Russell Adams steering his AP-3C Orion over the Southern Indian

Ocean during the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on March 19, 2014.

Photo – Xinhua/Australian Department of Defence 

 

 

 

Object Two

 

Photo released on March 20, 2014 by Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) shows

satellite image of objects that may be possible debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines

Flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean. Australia announced on Thursday that it had spotted

two objects possibly related to the search for the missing Malaysian flight MH370 in the

southern Indian Ocean and had sent four aircraft to the area to assess.   Photo – Xinhua/AMSA

 

 

 

Object One

 

Photo released on March 20, 2014 by Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)

shows satellite image of objects that may be possible debris of the missing Malaysia

Airlines Flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean. Australia announced on Thursday that it

had spotted two objects possibly related to the search for the missing Malaysian flight

MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean and had sent four aircraft to the area to assess.

Photo – Xinhua/AMSA

 

 

 

 

 

 

SYDNEY   2014-03-20   13:21:13

>>  Four aircraft to locate objects approximately 2,500 km southwest of perth: AMSA

By Zhao Xiaona

Four aircraft have been reoriented to locate the objects approximately 2,500 km southwest of perth, according to Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) on Thursday.

The Rescue Coordination Center Australia earlier received satellites imagery of two objects possibly related to the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner flight MH370, according to AMSA.

John Young, AMSA Emergency Response Division, said at the news briefing that the objects are in the vicinity of the search area defined and searched in the past two days and the assessment of these images was provided by the Australian Geospatial Intelligence Organization.

John Young said the images indicate that one of the objects measures around 24 metres in length.

He said, “The indications to me is of objects that are a reasonable size and probably awash with water bobbing up and down under the surface.”

A RAAF Orion is due to depart at 4 p.m. local time this afternoon and should be on scene at 8 p.m. Meanwhile, the HMAS Success is en route to the scene. The ship is equipped to recover any objects located.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CANBERRA    2014-03-20   13:19:04

>>  24-meter-long suspicious object sighted: AMSA

By Deng Yushan

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said on Thursday that two objects possibly related to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight have been spotted, with the large one about 24 meters long.

“The objects are relatively indistinct. The indication to me is of objects that are of a reasonable size and probably awash with water and bobbing up and down over the surface,” said AMSA official John Young.

“The largest… was assessed as being 24 meters. There is another one that is smaller than that,” he added.

Young said that Australia has aircraft on scene to confirm the objects, with more ships and planes on the way to the area in the southern Indian Ocean where the objects were spotted by satellites.

He said that the suspicious objects were found to be 2,500 kilometers southwest of Perth, a southwestern port city of Australia, and their rough position is consistent with the search route.

But it would be difficult to locate the objects due to poor visibility, he said, describing the latest development as “best lead we have.”

 

 

 

 

 

KUALA LUMPUR   2014-03-20   13:13:43

>>  Australia identifies two possible objects related

to search for missing plane: Malaysian official

By Zhao Bochao

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak received a call from his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott at 10:00 am this morning, informing him that “two possible objects related to the search for” MH370 had been identified in the Southern Indian Ocean, Malaysian official said Thursday in a statement.

“The Australian High Commissioner has also briefed me on the situation,” Hishammuddin Hussein, minister of defense and acting minister of transport of Malaysia, said in the statement.

He said at this stage, the Australian officials had yet to establish whether these objects were indeed related to the search for MH370.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced earlier on Thursday that objects possibly related to the search for the missing Malaysian flight MH370 had been found in the southern Indian Ocean.

Addressing Parliament, Abbott said new satellite images show two possible objects in the ocean and an Australian Orion aircraft is on its way to the area.

New and credible information had come to light in relation to the search, the prime minister said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CANBERRA   2014-03-20   12:56:56

>>  Urgent: 24-meter-long suspicious object sighted: AMSA

By Deng Yushan

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said on Thursday that two objects possibly related to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight have been spotted, with the large one about 24 meters long.

“The objects are relatively indistinct. The indication to me is of objects that are of a reasonable size and probably awash with water and bobbing up and down over the surface,” said AMSA official John Young.

He said that Australia has aircraft on scene to confirm the objects, with more ships and planes on the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-20   12:23:27

>>  China strengthens search for missing jet, int’l hunt continues

By Zhu Dongyang

As the wreckage of the missing Malaysian flight MH370 remain to be found after it lost contact 12 days ago, China enhanced its search forces and diplomacy Wednesday to hunt the jet.

China said its naval ships left their rally point near Singapore Wednesday and split into two groups, one heading north and the other south on the second phase of the search.

“China has shared satellite data with Malaysia at the request of the Malaysian side,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said, adding that China will give further information when data is completely verified.

Three air force cargo planes are expected to join in the multinational search soon, said Geng Yansheng, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wednesday.

However, no traces of the Boeing 777-200 aircraft entering Chinese territory or airspace have been found, though radar and satellite data covering the “northern corridor” have been meticulously examined.

“With a vast area of territory, the search work is still in full swing,” said Hong.

So far, Chinese military have scouted sea waters of 46,000 square kilometers while airspace search covered 73,000 square kilometers. Eleven Chinese vessels in total are now heading to concerned waters.

Meanwhile, diplomatic means were also underlined by Beijing to coordinate international hunting efforts, as Hong said “China has conveyed Malaysia’s request to all countries related through diplomatic channels to express hope for their efforts to take part in the international search.”

Kuala Lumpur has sent a high-level working team to Beijing to brief and update the latest development of jet searching and rescue plans, according to Malaysia’s Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.

The team was composed of officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Foreign Ministry, the Royal Air Force, the Department of Civil Aviation and Malaysia Airlines.

On the same day, the international hunt that has involved 27 countries continued, as U.S. President Barack Obama made his first public comments on the missing flight, saying the country has put “every source” available to help the search, which the U.S. considers “a top priority.”

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said at a press briefing that Washington is working with Beijing to assist the Malaysia-led massive hunt.

Earlier that day, a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the FBI has been given electronic data to recover and analyze the deleted data on the flight simulator from Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah’s home.

India also reportedly said it will resume search for the missing jetliner by redeploying its P-8I long-range maritime surveillance and C-130J “Super Hercules” planes for surveys over southern Indian Ocean from Thursday.

The decision came after Indian officials Wednesday said Malaysia had sent a fresh request to New Delhi to help in the new designated search area stretching 5,000 nautical miles southwards from Jakarta.

Official Malaysian sources earlier said the plane could be anywhere along a giant arc extending from Kazakhstan in the north to the Indian Ocean in the south.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SYDNEY   2014-03-20   12:12:56

>>  Australian authorities locate possible debris of

missing Malaysian flight, dispatch aircraft

By Zhao Xiaona

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced on Thursday that objects possibly related to the search for the missing Malaysian flight MH370 had been found in the southern Indian Ocean.

Addressing Parliament, Abbott said new satellite images show two possible objects in the ocean and an Australian Orion aircraft is on its way to the area.

New and credible information had come to light in relation to the search, the prime minister said.

“Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified,” Abbott said.

“We must keep in mind the task of locating these objects will be extremely difficult and it may turn out that they are not related to the search for flight MH370.” The Australian prime minister also said he had informed his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak about the new developments.

A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)P3 Orion has been dispatched Thursday by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)’s Rescue Coordination Centre Australia (RCC Australia) after AMSA reported two objects possibly connected to the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370.

The Orion is being followed by three other vessels and will arrive at the location within the next hours.

AMSA’s RCC Australia will hold a media briefing at 3.30 p.m. AEST as it continues to coordinate the search for the missing Malaysian flight.

Extensive search activities have continued throughout Thursday in the Southern Indian Ocean within the Australian Search and Rescue Region.

Assets that will be involved in the southern ocean search include a (RAAF) P3 Orion, a US Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft and a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion.

There are now RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft assigned to the search task being coordinated by AMSA.

Five merchant ships responded to a broadcast to shipping issued by RCC Australia on Monday night.

Four merchant ships have transited through the area over the past two days with a fifth ship expected to arrive in the area.

Xinhua has been told by an AMSA spokesman of the areas extreme remoteness.

“It is a challenging search operation and AMSA continues to hold grave fears for the passengers and crew on board the missing flight.” The spokesman said.

AMSA is to hold news briefing on search for the missing Malaysian plane at 3:30 p.m. local time on Thursday.

 

 

 

 

 

SYDNEY   2014-03-20   11:59:55

>>  Australian authorities locate possible debris of

missing Malaysian flight, dispatch aircraft

By Zhao Xiaona

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced on Thursday that objects possibly related to the search for the missing Malaysian flight MH370 had been found in the southern Indian Ocean.

Addressing Parliament, Abbott said new satellite images show two possible objects in the ocean and an Australian Orion aircraft is on its way to the area.

“Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified,” Abbott said. The Australian prime minister also said he had informed Malaysian side.

A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)P3 Orion has been dispatched Thursday by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)’s Rescue Coordination Centre Australia (RCC Australia) after AMSA reported two objects possibly connected to the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370.

The Orion is being followed by three other vessels and will arrive at the location within the next hours.

AMSA’s RCC Australia will hold a media briefing at 3.30 p.m. AEST as it continues to coordinate the search for the missing Malaysian flight.

Extensive search activities have continued throughout Thursday in the Southern Indian Ocean within the Australian Search and Rescue Region.

Assets that will be involved in the southern ocean search include a (RAAF) P3 Orion, a US Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft and a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion.

There are now RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft assigned to the search task being coordinated by AMSA.

Five merchant ships responded to a broadcast to shipping issued by RCC Australia on Monday night.

Four merchant ships have transited through the area over the past two days with a fifth ship expected to arrive in the area.

Xinhua has been told by an AMSA spokesman of the areas extreme remoteness.

“It is a challenging search operation and AMSA continues to hold grave fears for the passengers and crew on board the missing flight.” The spokesman said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SYDNEY   2014-03-20   11:49:13

>>  Australian authorities locate possible debris of

missing Malaysian flight, dispatch aircraft

By Zhao Xiaona

A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orion has been dispatched Thursday by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)’s Rescue Coordination Centre Australia ( RCC Australia) after AMSA reported two objects possibly connected to the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370.

The Orion is being followed by three other vessels and will arrive at the location within the next hours.

AMSA’s RCC Australia will hold a media briefing at 3.30 p.m. AEST as it continues to coordinate the search for the missing Malaysian flight.

Extensive search activities have continued throughout Thursday in the Southern Indian Ocean within the Australian Search and Rescue Region.

Assets that will be involved in the southern ocean search include a (RAAF) P3 Orion, a US Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft and a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion.

There are now RAAF AP-3C Orion aircraft assigned to the search task being coordinated by AMSA.

Five merchant ships responded to a broadcast to shipping issued by RCC Australia on Monday night.

Four merchant ships have transited through the area over the past two days with a fifth ship expected to arrive in the area.

Xinhua has been told by an AMSA spokesman of the areas extreme remoteness.

“It is a challenging search operation and AMSA continues to hold grave fears for the passengers and crew on board the missing flight.” The spokesman said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WASHINGTON   2014-03-20   09:24:53

>>  U.S., China working with Malaysia in hunting missing flight: spokeswoman

By Zhou Erjie

The United States and China are both working with the Malaysian government in the search for the missing Malaysian airliner MH370, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday.

The Malaysian government has the lead and is the coordinating body, said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki at a press briefing.

It has been 12 days since the plane disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing shortly after taking off on March 8. No trace of the plane has been found despite a multinational search effort.

The United States has put forward a number of resources toward the effort of finding the plane, said Psaki.

“I’m not going to go into more details about what information is being shared,” she added.

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that U.S. has put “every resource” available to help in the search efforts for the plane and considers it “a top priority.”

It was Obama’s first public comments on the event since the plane carrying 239 people went missing.

 

 

 

 

 

WASHINGTON   2014-03-20   07:37:16

>>  Obama says “every resource” available to assist

in search for missing Malaysia jetliner

By Sun Hao

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday the U.S. has put “every resource” available to help in the search efforts for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner.

Obama made his first public comments on the missing flight in an interview with the Dallas-based Fox-affiliated KDFW television station.

He offered his thoughts and prayers to the families of the crew and passengers on the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-370 which went missing on March 8.

“We want to send out our thoughts and prayers to all of the families that have been affected, but particularly our American families, who I can only imagine what they’re going through with all of the uncertainty that’s taking place,” Obama said.

Philip Wood, 50, of Keller, the U.S. state of Texas, is among the 239 people on board the missing flight.

During the interview, Obama said the U.S. has put “every resource that we have available at the disposal of the search process.” He said the U.S. considers the search efforts for the missing plane “a top priority.”

Speaking at the daily press briefing, the White House spokesman Jay Carney said the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are currently the primary interlocutors with the Malaysian government on the investigation of the mystery of the missing plane.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is also assisting in the investigation, he added.

At a news conference on Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said there has been contact between various investigative agencies in the U.S. and Malaysia. He vowed to make available ” whatever resources that we have” in the investigation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING   2014-03-20   01:55:19

>>  China repositioned to continue with search for MH370

By Cheng Yunjie, Wang Jingguo and Sun Yi

The Chinese military will continue to engage sufficient forces to hunt the missing Malaysian Airlines jetliner as its search areas expand, Defense Ministry spokesman said here on Wednesday.

Three air force cargo planes were on standby and would join in the multinational search operation soon while the naval vessels formed in two groups would scout the northern and southern corridors respectively, said spokesman Geng Yansheng in an interview with Xinhua.

Geng said that Chinese military would strengthen cooperation and coordination with all relevant parties including Malaysia.

So far, Chinese military have scouted sea waters of 46,000 square kilometers while airspace search covered 73,000 square kilometers. A dozen satellites have been used, said Geng.

As the multinational search operation entered its 12th day, China has shifted its searching focus from South China Sea to waters southeast of the Bay of Bengal and west of Indonesia, covering an area of 300,000 square kilometers.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that no trace of missing flight MH370 entering Chinese territory or airspace has been found.

“With a vast area of territory, search work is still in full swing,” said he at a daily press briefing. Radar and satellite data for parts of China covered by the “northern corridor” have been examined in meticulous detail at the request of the Malaysian side.

Official Malaysian sources say the plane could be anywhere along a giant arc extending from Kazakhstan in the north to the Indian Ocean in the south.

Chinese naval ships on Wednesday left their rally point near Singapore and split into two groups, one heading north and the other south on the second phase of the search.

“China has shared satellite data with Malaysia at the request of the Malaysian side,” Hong said, adding that China will give further information when data is completely verified.

“China has conveyed Malaysia’s request to all countries related through diplomatic channels to express hope for their efforts to take part in the international search,” Hong said, calling on further coordination with Malaysia in the search.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200 aircraft, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, mysteriously disappeared from radar in the early hours of March 8.

A high-level working team will be sent to Beijing to deal with issues related to the missing plane, according to Malaysian Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.

Comprised of representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Foreign Ministry, the Royal Air Force, the Department of Civil Aviation and Malaysia Airlines, the team will give briefings and updates to the next of kin on the latest situation, and on search and rescue plans, said Hishammuddin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WASHINGTON   2014-03-20   01:46:42

>>  U.S. patrol aircraft continues search for missing

Malaysia Airlines plane in southern Indian Ocean

By Sun Hao

A U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft has arrived in Australia to continue its search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner in the southern Indian Ocean, the U.S. 7th Fleet said on Wednesday.

The P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft has completed its transition from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Perth, Australia as of Tuesday, as it will be “most effective operating” out of Perth to the expanded search area in the southern Indian Ocean, the U.S. 7th Fleet said.

During its missions out of Kuala Lumpur, the P-8A crew identified more than 400 radar contacts, but none were associated with aircraft debris or wreckage, the statement said.

The aircraft’s advanced radar capabilities allow the crew to recognize and investigate small contacts on the water’s surface. The crew uses the onboard camera system and a multitude of sensors to investigate the contacts.

Lt. Joshua Mize, a P-8A Poseidon tactical coordinator, said the crew has been using all of the aircraft’s sensors to identify objects in the water since they don’t know exactly how big the debris may be.

“Our goal is to cover as much area as possible while still being thorough with our search. Being thorough is critical, especially in a search like this,” Mize said.

The 7th Fleet confirmed on Monday that USS Kidd dropped out of the search efforts for the missing plane, as long range patrol aircraft are more suited to the current search mission with the search area expanding into the southern Indian Ocean.

No trace of the Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has been found since it vanished on March 8 with 239 passengers aboard.

 

 

 

 

 

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