Finding on suspected Malaysia Airlines debris expected shortly
Australia expects to make a quick deliberation on whether possible debris seen at sea is indeed from flight MH370, a report said on Thursday. But a first spotter flight failed to locate anything in bad weather.
Authorities should know something definite on the possible discovery of debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane within "two or three days", the Australian Associated Press quoted Defence Minister David Johnston as saying in Jakarta.
But a Royal Australian Air Force Orion sent on Thursday to investigate possible wreckage from the Boeing 777 failed to spot debris, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa) said.
The P3 surveillance aircraft was sent to the Indian Ocean search zone about 2 500km southwest of Perth after Australian authorities revealed the presence of two objects at sea possibly related to flight MH370.
"RAAF P3 crew unable to locate debris. Cloud and rain limited visibility," Amsa wrote on its Twitter feed. "Further aircraft to continue search for #MH370."
A follow-up tweet said the search had been called off for the day and would resume again in the morning.
Three more long-range surveillance planes – from Australia, New Zealand and the United States – were due to inspect the area where satellite images taken on Sunday showed the two objects, one as large as 24m in length.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Parliament the images represented "new and credible information" but stressed that any link with flight MH370 still had to be confirmed. Malaysia said the information offered a "credible lead", but stressed that it was too early to tell.
This "requires us overnight to verify and corroborate it", Malaysian acting transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters in Kuala Lumpur, adding that the overall search and rescue effort would continue in the meantime.
Currently, there are 18 ships, 29 aircraft and six ship-borne helicopters deployed in the search along two corridors stretching from the southern Indian Ocean to Central Asia. – Sapa-AFP