Search for MH370 stalled; more debris sighted

Search for MH370 stalled; more debris sighted

PERTH - Foul weather forced the air search for Flight MH370 to be suspended on Thursday, but not before Thailand said its satellite had detected 300 floating objects believed to be from the missing plane.

Japan also said one of its satellites spotted 10 objects on Wednesday near where other countries have found suspicious debris, Kyodo news agency reported on Thursday, citing Japanese government sources.

A total of 11 aircraft, including six military planes from Australia, China, Japan and the United States, were told by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) to call off their search in an area in the Indian Ocean about 2,500km south-west of Perth.

Captain Michael MacSween, a Canadian pilot on exchange with the Australian air force, told reporters at Pearce air base that rain had reduced visibility severely.

"Visibility was between five miles and basically zero. Despite searching there for 21/2 hours, we were unable to locate anything visually... And the swell... was rather high in the area as well."

Thai newspaper The Nation reported that 300 objects - ranging from 2m to 15m - had been sighted by Thailand's satellite.

The Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency said the objects were spotted about 200km away from an area where French satellite images had earlier shown objects.

AMSA, meanwhile, said a black box locator from the US will be fitted onto a ship and then put into operation.

There was no press briefing in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, but a Transport Ministry statement said officials have asked the Chinese government to "clarify the actual situation to the affected families in particular and the Chinese public in general".

lestkong@sph.com.sg

tanhy@sph.com.sg


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