Australia’s prime minister says that satellite imagery may have found pieces of debris in the Indian Ocean that could have come from the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER.
Tony Abbott told parliament at around 14:00 Canberra time on 20 March that he had been in touch with his counterpart in Malaysia after “new and credible information” on the search for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean came to light.
“The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has received information based on satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search,” he says. “Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified.”
He adds that a Royal Australian Air Force P-3C Orion has been diverted to locate the objects, while three other aircraft, "tasked for more intensive follow-up search", will follow.
“The task of locating these objects will be extremely difficult and it may turn out that they are not related to the search for flight MH370,” Abbott warned.
AMSA has scheduled a press conference for 15:30 Canberra time where it is expected that more information about the objects and the results of the initial search by the Orion will be revealed.
Aircraft from Australia, New Zealand and the US have been searching the southern Indian Ocean for the past couple of days after satellite data revealed that the 777 may have headed along two possible corridors after disappearing from civil radar in the early hours of 8 March.