Photo source: Xinhua / State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense
KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 (Xinhua) -- China's satellite has spotted a 22-meter-long and 13-meter-wide object in the southern Indian Ocean possibly related to the missing Malaysian jetliner, Malaysian Ministry of Transport said in a statement on Saturday.
The statement said China informed Malaysia of the information by phone during the regular press conference here this afternoon.
The satellite images taken Tuesday show that the object was about 120 km southwest of the suspicious debris Australia announced Thursday, according to China's State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.
"As we intensify the search and rescue operations, the overall emphasis remains the same: using all available means to narrow the search areas in both corridors,"Malaysian acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told the press briefing.
He confirmed that China, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Laos, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan had informed that, based on preliminary analysis, there had been no sightings of the flight MH370 on their radar.
With respect to the southern corridor, he said China is sending additional two ships from the Andaman Sea to join the five Chinese ships already in the southern corridor.
Two Chinese Air Force planes arrived Saturday afternoon at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Pearce Air Force base in Perth.
The minister said, five aircraft and two merchant ships were in the search area for the suspected objects identified by the Australian authorities, approximately 2,500 km southwest of Perth. Despite improved visual search conditions Friday, no sightings of the objects have been reported, he added. "Generally, conditions in the southern corridor are very challenging,"he said, adding that the ocean varies between 1,150 meters and 7,000 meters in depth.
He said, the original transcript of the conversation between MH370 and Malaysian air traffic control is being analyzed by the investigations team. "As is standard practice in investigations of this sort, the transcript cannot be publicly released at this stage. I can however confirm that the transcript does not indicate anything abnormal," he added.
As to the reported revelation of the last 54 minutes of communications from the missing plane's cockpit, Hishammuddin said it was inaccurate.
When asked about how much Malaysia had spent so far on the search and rescue operation, the minister said neither the Malaysian government nor their partners had talked about dollars in sense. "That is all about trying to find the aircraft," he said, adding that this was the best part of the cooperation.
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