MH370 committee to decide whether to pursue new lead of possible wreckage

Technical experts searching for the missing Flight MH370 will decide whether to follow up on latest claims that the ill-fated jet may have crashed in the Bay of Bengal, said Malaysia's Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein. -- FIL
Technical experts searching for the missing Flight MH370 will decide whether to follow up on latest claims that the ill-fated jet may have crashed in the Bay of Bengal, said Malaysia's Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - Technical experts searching for the missing Flight MH370 will decide whether to follow up on latest claims that the ill-fated jet may have crashed in the Bay of Bengal, said Malaysia's Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

"I will not comment on it until there is confirmation... in past there were oil slicks, satellite images of wreckage in the South China Sea, but proved to be untrue.

"I'm meeting with the technical committee in a while... if they say we will proceed with the lead, then we will," Mr Hishammuddin was quoted as saying by the Malay Mail Online website.

If the evidence is verified, said the minister, a press statement will be issued later on Tuesday.

"We have received every lead that comes out. I personally monitor the social media and the news on the subject.

"Rest assured the structure is in place," he added.

An exploration company on Monday claimed that it had found the wreckage of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, six weeks after it left Kuala Lumpur International Airport for Beijing on March 8, The Star reported.

The Adelaide-based GeoResonance said the possible wreckage was found in the Bay of Bengal, 5,000km away from the current search location in the southern Indian Ocean off Perth, with the company beginning its own search on March 10.

Department of Civil Aviation director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman told The Star earlier that Malaysia was unaware of the report of the finding.

"We will have to check and verify this report," he said.

GeoResonance's search covered 2,000,000 sq km of the possible crash zone using images obtained from satellites and aircraft, with company scientists focusing their efforts north of MH370's last known location. Over 20 technologies were used to analyse the data, including a nuclear reactor.

"The technology that we use was originally designed to find nuclear warheads and submarines. Our team in Ukraine decided we should try and help," said the company spokesman David Pope.

Mr Pope said GeoResonance compared their findings with images taken on March 5, three days before MH370 went missing, and did not find what they had detected at the spot.

"The wreckage wasn't there prior to the disappearance of MH370. We're not trying to say it definitely is MH370. However, it is a lead we feel should be followed up,' he said.

Another GeoResonance spokesman, Pavel Kursa said several elements found in commercial airliners were detected at the Bay of Bengal spot identified by GeoResonance.

"We identified chemical elements and materials that make up a Boeing 777… these are aluminium, titanium, copper, steel alloys and other materials," said Mr Kursa in a statement reported by Australian news channel 7News.

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