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New satellite data guides hunt for missing Malaysian airline in Southern Indian Ocean

English.news.cn   2014-03-22 07:21:56

CANBERRA, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Search operations in the Southern Indian Ocean for a missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft resumed, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) announced on Saturday, saying that the current search area, about 2,500 kilometers southwest of Australia, was identified based on satellite data on Thursday.

The AMSA said so far no sightings have been reported, and the current search area was identified based on satellite images provided by the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organization ( AGO).

Analysis of the satellite images identified two objects possibly relating to the missing flight MH370. The images have been assessed to be credible but it is also possible that they do not relate to the missing plane, a Boeing 777-200ER, the AMSA said.

According to the latest press release, three Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orion maritime surveillance aircraft, a New Zealand P3 Orion and two ultra long range commercial jets will search a 36,000-square-kilometer area about 2,500 kilometers southwest of Perth on Saturday.

The AMSA said the two commercial jets and a RAAF P3 Orion will be the first group of aircraft to depart from Perth around 9 a.m. AEDT (Canberra time).

A total of 10 State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers from Western Australia have been tasked as air observers on the commercial jets for Saturday's search mission. Seven SES volunteers from Victoria served as air observers on Friday.

"The AMSA runs a training program across the country to train SES volunteers in air observation for searches," the press release said.

In addition, two merchant ships are now in the search area to help the hunt for the missing flight. And a total of six merchant ships have assisted the search since a shipping broadcast was issued by the AMSA on Monday.

The Royal Australian Navy supply ship HMAS Success is also en route to the search area and will arrive there late Saturday afternoon.

Editor: chengyang
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