All assets to be deployed to southern corridor if sightings are confirmed to belong to MH370
Published on Mar 24, 2014 5:48 PM
KUALA LUMPUR - The search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is still on both the northern and southern corridors, but all assets will be deployed to the southern corridor once any of the sightings of debris is confirmed to belong to the missing plane, says Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein
"The focus is to recover and identify the debris spotted by satellites,'' he told a daily press briefing on Monday.
So far, however, the new leads have been inconclusive, said Mr Hishammuddin, who is also defence minister.
At the press briefing, he said Australia had sighted two objects - one circular and one rectangular - in the southern corridor and HMAS Success from the Royal Australian Navy may be able to retrieve them "in a few hours' time".
Earlier in the day, the Australian authorities said a US Navy P-8 Poseidon, the most advanced search aircraft in the world, had been unable to find objects spotted earlier on Monday by a Chinese aircraft hunting for clues to the missing flight in the Indian Ocean.
"A US Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft was tasked to investigate reported object sightings by the Chinese aircraft made at 33,000 ft," a spokesman for the Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said.
"The objects were spotted by the Chinese aircraft as it was heading back to Perth. Drift modelling was undertaken on the sighting. The P-8 was unable to relocate the reported objects."
The Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft spotted two "relatively big" floating objects and several smaller white ones dispersed over several kilometres, Xinhua news agency reported earlier.
Flight MH370 vanished from civilian radar screens less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on March 8. There were 239 passengers and crew members on board.