Missing MH370: Largest "object" could be aircraft tail, says report

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 20 Mar 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: One of two objects found by Australian authorities in the southern Indian Ocean could be the tail section of an aircraft suspected to be the missing MAS flight MH370.

David Gallo, who co-led the search for Air France Flight 447 which crashed in 2009, told CNN: "If that piece of the plane is that big maybe it's the tail section."

Australian Maritime Safety Authority general manager John Young said the objects are indistinct but of "reasonable size" - the largest about 24 meters long (79 feet).

They were "probably awash with water and bobbing up and down," he told a press conference.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott first announced the discovery to the House of Representatives in Canberra on Thursday.

Australian search teams have been at the forefront of the hunt for the missing plane in the remote southern Indian Ocean.

"There have been so many false leads and so many starts and changes and then backtracking in the investigation," Mary Schiavo, a aviation analyst and former inspector general for the U.S. Department of Transportation told CNN.

"He wouldn't have come forward and said if they weren't fairly certain."

The images of the objects were captured by satellite and were being assessed by the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation.

The images were taken in the vicinity of the search area that has been scoured by search teams in recent days.

Young cautioned the images may not be from the plane. There can be other debris out there, from ships, for example.

But, he added, "It is probably the best lead we have right now. But we need to get there, find them, see them, assess them to know whether it's really meaningful or not."

The visibility in the area is poor, Young cautioned. "The weather is not playing the game with us," he said.

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