Australia says 'confident' searching in right area for MH370

SYDNEY - Australia on Friday said it was confident the search for MH370 was being conducted in the right area with aircraft wreckage being washed to La Reunion consistent with currents from the zone they are scouring.

"We remain confident that we're searching in the right place, and if in fact the plane parts found on Reunion Island are linked to MH370, that would rather strengthen the case that we are in the right area," said Transport and Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss.

"It's not positive proof, but the fact that this wreckage was sighted on the northern part of the Reunion Island is consistent with the current movements, it's consistent with what we might expect to happen in these circumstance." Australia has been leading the hunt for the Malaysia Airlines plane since it vanished on March 8 last year travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.

Satellite and other data has allowed investigators to narrow their search to an arc of the remote southern Indian Ocean west of Australia, with ships scouring more than 50,000 square kilometres (19,000 square miles) of deep ocean floor without success.

Authorities are planning to search a total of 120,000 square kilometres.

Truss said that if the two-metre (six-foot) long piece of wreckage found on the French territory was indeed from MH370 it would eliminate some of the "rather fanciful theories" about what happened to the plane.

"It (if proven) establishes really beyond any doubt that the aircraft is resting in the Indian Ocean and not secretly parked in some hidden place on the land in another part of the world," he said.

"So it removes some of those theories but it doesn't provide a great deal of help in specifically identifying where the aircraft is at the present time.

"We are confident, on the basis of continuing refinement, continuing assessment of the satellite data, that the search area is correct."

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