SEPANG: China has a satellite image of a floating object that could be related to the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
The information was conveyed to acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein midway through his daily press briefing here yesterday.
Reading out the handwritten note handed to him by an official, he said the object was 26m by 13m and was spotted in the southern corridor, which stretches from Indonesia to the southern part of the Indian Ocean.
“The news I just received is that the Chinese ambassador received a satellite image of an object floating in the southern corridor and they will be sending ships to verify.
“The Beijing government will announce this in a couple of hours,” he said at about 6pm.
Pressed for more details, Hishammuddin told local and foreign reporters: “This is all I have but as stated in this note, the Chinese government will be announcing in a couple of hours so I think the media will then be made fully aware of the actual location of the object and more details.”
Asked whether Chinese ships were heading to the area, he said he needed to get more details.
“I have been accused of not telling the world about new information, but this is coming to me as quick as you are seeing it on the television.
“If you allow me to follow this lead by concluding this press conference then I will give you an answer,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the object needed to be “further verified and analysed”.
Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said: “We have already immediately reported the matter to Malaysia and Australia. We hope that this data will be useful to the search and rescue effort.
“Chinese ships and planes are heading to the search area in southern Indian Ocean.”
The Chinese State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence said the image was captured about noon on March 18 by the Gaofen-1 satellite.
It added in a statement that the object was photographed at a location about 120km east of where an American satellite had earlier spotted possible debris.