A Chinese satellite searching for missing Malaysian Airlines flight has found what is being described as three
‘large, floating objects’ in the South China Sea, UK Daily Mail reports
The potentially crucial development comes on the fifth day of the search for the Boeing 777 seems to corroborate the testimony of a New Zealand oil worker who claims to have witnessed the crash of the missing airplane early on Saturday morning.
It is also in the original search area under the flight’s original search path and appears to discount the theory that the aircraft turned back towards Malaysia and crashed hundreds of miles away on the other side
of the Malaysian peninsula.
It’s where it’s supposed to be,’ Peter Goelz, a former National Transportation Safety Board managing director, told CNN remarking on the ‘great skepticism’ about reports the aircraft carrying 239 passengers had turned around to go back over Malaysia.
‘I think they’ve got to get vessels and aircraft there as quickly as humanly possible.’
The new suspect crash site is about 140 miles from the flight’s last radar contact as broadcast by its transponder.
The three objects are large, measuring 43ft by 59ft, 46ft by 62ft and 79ft by 72ft. ‘Chinese satellites have found smoke and floating objects … At present we cannot confirm this is related to the missing aircraft,’ said Li Jiaxiang, China’s civil aviation chief on Thursday.
The site is also near where South China Sea oil rig worker Michael Jerome McKay today described seeing what he believes to be the plane burning – in one piece for 10-15 seconds – flying at a high altitude slightly off from the standard route of planes that cross the sea shortly after the plane vanished.
‘There was no lateral movement, so it was either coming toward our location, stationary, or going away from our
location,’ he wrote in a letter to his employers about the sighting on Saturday and seen by ABC News.
Deputy general director of Vietnam’s air traffic management, Doan Huu Gia, confirmed he had been sent an email from McKay, the BBC reported.
‘We received an email from a New Zealander who works on one of the oil rigs off Vung Tau. ‘He said he spotted a burning [object] at that location,
some 300 km southeast of Vung Tau.’
Vietnam has already searched the area where Chinese satellites showed objects that could be debris from a
missing Malaysia Airlines jet but a plane has been sent to check the area again, Vietnamese military officials
‘We are aware and we sent planes to cover that area over the past three days,’ Deputy Transport Minister
Pham Quy Tieu told Reuters. ‘Today a (military) plane will search the area again,’ he said.
And on Thursday morning Vietnamese authorities said two military jets searching for clues top the missing Malaysia Airlines jet found no wreckage at the location a Reuters journalist on board said.
Aircraft repeatedly circled the area over the South China Sea but were unable to detect any objects, said the
journalist, who flew aboard a Antonov 26 cargo plane for three hours.
China’s State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense announced the discovery of the images in the area where rescuers first started looking on Saturday – along with other images of what appear to show an oil slick tracing the surrounding area.
The images were captured on March 9 – the day after the plane went missing, but were somehow not released until
Wednesday. There were 153 Chinese nationals on board the flight.
China’s State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence gave no reason for the delay in releasing the images – or why it has not passed the pictures to Malaysian authorities.
UK Daily Mail