Object found on Australian shore examined for link to flight MH370

23 April 2014 01:33 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Three pieces of debris washed up off the coast of Western Australia are being investigated to see if they could be wreckage from missing Malaysian flight MH370.

One of the objects is believed to be the length of a car with 'distinct rivets'.

They were found by someone walking on the beach who notified police.

The search coordination centre said today that police secured the material that washed ashore six miles east of Augusta in Western Australia.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is examining photographs to assess whether further investigation is needed and if the material is relevant to Flight MH370.

Augusta is near Australia's southwestern tip about 190 miles from Perth, where the search has been headquartered.

The Australian-led Joint Agency Coordination Centre said in a statement: 'The ATSB is examining the photographs of the material to determine whether further physical analysis is required and if there is any relevance to the search of missing flight MH370.

'The ATSB has also provided the photographs to the Malaysian investigation team.'

The investigation could take days.

Meanwhile Malaysia's cabinet approved today the appointment of an international team to investigate the disappearance of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, the country's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said.

'The main purpose of the international investigation team is to evaluate, investigate and determine the actual cause of the accident so similar accidents could be avoided in the future,' Hishammuddin told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

Hishammuddin added that the government has had talks with Malaysian state oil firm Petronas and other unidentified entities to expand the deep-sea search for the missing plane in the southern Indian Ocean.

Australia has vowed to keep searching for the missing plane despite no sign of wreckage after almost seven weeks, and as bad weather again grounded aircraft and an undersea drone neared the end of its first full mission.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott admitted the search strategy may change if seabed scans taken by a U.S. Navy drone failed to turn up a trace of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, which vanished on March 8 with 239 people on board.

'We may well re-think the search but we will not rest until we have done everything we can to solve this mystery,' he said.

'The only way we can get to the bottom of this is to keep searching the probable impact zone until we find something or until we have searched it as thoroughly as human ingenuity allows at this time.'

The Bluefin-21 drone, a key component in the search after the detection of audio signals or 'pings' believed to be from the plane's black box flight recorder, is due to end its first full mission, possibly today.

The Australian and Malaysian governments are under growing pressure to show what lengths they are prepared to go to in order to give closure to the grieving families of those on board flight MH370.

In a sign of the families' growing desperation for answers, a group purporting to be relatives of the missing flight's passengers published a letter to Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, urging the government to investigate old media reports that the plane landed in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

'It is high time that the government should start thinking out of the box by exploring and re-examining all leads, new and old,' said the letter, published on Facebook on Wednesday.


Authorities suspended the air search for the second day in a row today due to heavy rain, low cloud and treacherous seas.

'Current weather conditions are resulting in heavy seas and poor visibility and are making air search activities ineffective and potentially hazardous,' the Joint Agency Coordination Centre said in a statement, adding 12 ships would continue to help with the operation.

Meanwhile, the Bluefin-21 was nearing the end of its first assignment scouring a 6.2 square mile stretch of seabed where authorities traced what they believed was a black box signal two weeks ago.

Search officials have said that once the Bluefin-21's current mission, some 1,200 miles north west of the Australian city of Perth, is finished, they will redeploy the submarine to other areas yet to be determined. (Source: Daily Mail)
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