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Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Australia spots possible debris off Perth coast

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Parliament of a possible breakthrough in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
By Kate Stanton   |   March 20, 2014 at 12:27 AM  |  Updated March 20, 2014 at 11:44 AM   |   Comments

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March 20 (UPI) -- Australian maritime authorities have found two objects off the coast of Perth in the southern Indian Ocean that could be related to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Parliament on Thursday that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) had "received information based on satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search."

"Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified," he added. "I can inform the House that a Royal Australian Air Force Orion has been diverted to attempt to locate the objects."

Abbott also warned people not to jump to conclusions until authorities had more opportunity to investigate.

"The task of locating these objects will be extremely difficult, and it may turn out that they may not be related," he said.

Here's video of Abbott notifying Australian Parliament:

The Abbott government spoke to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak about the findings, CNN reported.

John Young, of AMSA, said in a Thursday afternoon press conference that the two objects were "of a reasonable size," and located 2,500 kilometers (1,553 miles) off the Perth coast. The largest object appeared to be about 24 meters (78 feet) in size.



Young also said that a Royal Australian Air Force aircraft had arrived in the area of the search, while another three aircraft -- including a Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion and United States Navy P8 Poseidon -- were on their way.

"We need to get there, find them, need them assess them" Young said of the objects. He added that it's not unusual for large debris -- such as shipping containers -- to be found floating in the ocean.

[CNN, NBC News, AMSA]

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