Australian PM says satellite finds objects possibly from missing Malaysian jet

by Reuters
Thursday, 20 March 2014 03:35 GMT

(Updates with more detail)

SYDNEY, March 20 (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Thursday satellite imagery had found two objects possibly related to the search for a Malaysia Airlines jetliner missing since March 8 with 239 people on board.

"New and credible information has come to light in relation to the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean," Abbott told parliament.

"The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has received information based on satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search," Abbott said.

"Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified."

Abbott said a search aircraft was due to arrive at the area where the objects were spotted about the time he was speaking in parliament. A further three aircraft were also enroute to the site.

Abbott said he had already spoken with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak and cautioned that the objects had yet to be identified.

"The task of locating these objects will be extremely difficult and it may turn out they are not related to the search for MH370," said Abbott.

The AMSA said it would hold a media briefing in Canberra at 0430 GMT.

(Reporting By Jane Wardell; Editing by Paul Tait)

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