Australian officials discover 'object of interest' during MH370 search

The object appears to be sheet metal with rivets.
By Evan Bleier   |   April 23, 2014 at 7:43 AM   |   Comments

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AUGUSTA, Australia, April 23 (UPI) -- Officials have discovered an "object of interest" during their search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane off of the western coast of Australia. The object, described as appearing to be sheet metal with rivets, was found near Augusta.

"It's sufficiently interesting for us to take a look at the photographs," Australian Transport Safety Bureau Chief Commissioner Martin Dolan told CNN. "We take all leads seriously. The more we look at it, the less excited we get."

A police agency in Western Australia currently has possession of the object and Malaysian officials are still waiting to see photos.

Malaysia's acting transport minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, said the search for flight MH370 will go on. "We will continue with the search operation until we fully cover the search area," Hishammuddin said.

The Bluefin-21 underwater drone carrying out the hunt has already scanned about 80 percent of its intended search territory.

"We are not going to abandon ... the families of the 239 people who were on that plane by lightly surrendering while there is reasonable hope of finding something," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said. "We may well re-think the search, but we will not rest until we have done everything we can to solve this mystery."

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