KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia
More planes were joining the search today of a remote patch of the southern Indian Ocean in hopes of finding answers to the fate of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, after China released a satellite image showing a large object floating in the search zone.
The desolate area in the Indian Ocean is about 1,550 miles southwest of Perth, Australia, where three days of searching for similar images from another satellite that emerged earlier last week have produced no results.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the operation from the country’s western coast, said it refined the search based on the latest clue from the Chinese satellite showing an object that appeared to be 72 feet by 43 feet. It said that the object’s position also fell within Saturday’s search area but it had not been sighted.
Today’s search involving eight aircraft has been split into two areas within the same proximity covering 22,800 square miles. These areas have been determined by drift modelling, AMSA said.
Despite the frustrating lack of answers, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was upbeat.
“Obviously, we have now had a number of very credible leads, and there is increasing hope — no more than hope, no more than hope — that we might be on the road to discovering what did happen to this ill-fated aircraft,” Abbott told reporters in Papua New Guinea.
Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein put a message on his Twitter account today asking those in churches around the country to offer a “prayer please” for the passengers and crew on Fight 370.