A Chinese search plane reports it has discovered floating debris that could be related to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean.
The crew says it spotted two “relatively large” objects and several smaller ones spread over several kilometers. China has diverted its icebreaker ship, Xuelong, toward the location where the debris was spotted. It’s expected to arrive on early Tuesday.
China has also asked Australia to send its aircraft to the area. Ten planes are combing the southern Indian Ocean.
Australia said the search area was widened from 59,000 to 68,000 square kilometers.
The expansion came after French satellite revealed “floating debris” in an area north of pictures previously captured by Australian and Chinese satellites. It’s the third set of satellite images in a week.
The Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss says the new lead is promising. He cautions that the search in the icy southern Indian Ocean remains difficult, as rain was expected today.
“We still don’t even know for certain that the aircraft is even in this area. We’re just, I guess, clutching at whatever little piece of information comes along to try and find a place where we might be able to concentrate the efforts,” Truss said.
Malaysian authorities have said the black box is expected to run out of power in two weeks, and won’t be able to send any signal thereafter.
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