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'White and square' objects spotted by Chinese search plane for MH370: Xinhua

Published on Mar 24, 2014 12:32 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - A Chinese aircrew has spotted "suspicious objects" in the southern Indian Ocean in the search for vanished Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, the official Xinhua news agency said on Monday.

Searchers discovered “two relatively big floating objects with many white smaller ones scattered within a radius of several kilometres", Xinhua said, citing a reporter on board a Chinese Ilyushin-76 plane.

The larger objects were “white and square", it added.

“The crew has reported the coordinates – 95.1113 degrees east and 42.5453 south – to the Australian command centre as well as Chinese icebreaker Xuelong, which is en route to the sea area,” Xinhua said.

A Chinese Air Force Ilyushin IL-76 plane sits on the tarmac at Pearce Air Force base in Bullsbrook, 35km north of Perth, after arriving to help in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean on March 22, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP 

MH370 China Satellite finding March 22 map

The Xuelong has now changed course towards the latest sighting, the news agency said in a subsequent report.

Earlier Xinhua reports said a Chinese military plane set off Monday morning from the western Australian city of Perth to seek “suspicious debris” captured by satellite imagery in the remote waters.

Flight MH370 disappeared from civilian radar 16 days ago, nearly an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing.

Chinese passengers comprised two-thirds of the 239 people aboard the Boeing 777.

According to Xinhua, two Chinese planes that had been searching the area were returning to Perth, and the crew had asked Australia to send more aircraft to the area.