Malaysia jet search intensifies on new debris sighting

Malaysia jet search intensifies on new debris sighting
The Commanding Officer of the Australian Navy ship HMAS Success Captain Allison Norris RAN stands on the ship's bridge after it arrived in the search area for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in this picture released by the Australian Defence Force on March 23, 2014.

PERTH, Australia - Ships and planes from several nations swarmed over a lonely corner of the southern Indian Ocean on Monday as mounting evidence of floating debris energised the search for Malaysia's missing passenger jet.

But the roiling seas characteristic of the region threatened once again to foil search personnel who have failed to turn days of tantalising leads into hard evidence that could help solve the baffling mystery of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

China's Xinhua news agency said a Chinese air crew spotted "two relatively big floating objects with many white smaller ones scattered within a radius of several kilometres".

The report added to an Australian aircraft's visual sighting Saturday of a wooden pallet, strapping and other debris, and subsequent French and Chinese satellite information indicating floating objects far off Australia's west coast.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said search teams would investigate the Chinese sightings.

A growing international fleet of military and civilian aircraft has converged on the area, around 2,500 kilometres (1,500 miles) southwest of Perth, supported by Australian and British naval vessels tasked with retrieving any objects from the forbidding waters.

MH370 vanished without warning on March 8 over the South China Sea en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew.

Malaysia believes the plane was deliberately diverted by someone on board. But the absence of firm evidence has fuelled intense speculation and conspiracy theories, and tormented the families of the missing.


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