Zhang Xiaojun (Xinhuanet's journalist in Perth, Australia)
BEIJING, March 21 (Xinhuanet) -- The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) Friday dispatched aircraft to the sea area in the southern Indian Ocean for search and rescue after an Australian navy P-3 plane has failed to locate suspicious debris the day before.
To inquire about the latest development, Xinhuanet held an telephone interview with their journalist Zhang Xiaojun in Perth, Sydney. Following is the interview.
Xinhuanet: Where are you now?
Zhang Xiaojun: I am now at the RAAF Base Pearce near Perth, Australia, where the planes searching for the missing Malaysian plane take off. After yesterday’s fruitless search, five more planes were dispatched this morning. Now a lot of reporters are gathering in front of the base, waiting anxiously for the latest developments.
Xinhuanet: Is there any updates of the searching released by Australia?
Zhang Xiaojun: No more news as of now. There may be updates after the first batch of searching planes are back. Now we have contacted the Chinese Consulate General in Perth. The Chinese icebreaker Xuelong are loading with supplies in an emergency after arriving in Perth yesterday. It is reported that the ship will set off for the search operation this evening.
Xinhuanet: If there is any latest news, which Australian department will announce it first?
Zhang Xiaojun: They are in coordination. According to sources from Canberra, AMSA will be responsible for the latest media release. However, Australian army is releasing all the data at present. Australia is to hold a press conference this afternoon, possibly a joint press conference by related search and rescue department.
Xinhuanet: How does Australia divide its different departments for searching operation? Is it possible that Australia can confirm the debris on the spot once the debris was found in the suspected sea areas?
Zhang Xiaojun: Australia announced that it had spotted suspected objects through satellite images. After several days of study, Australia announced that the objects are possibly related to the missing Malaysian flight. Australia has dispatched aircraft to the suspected sea areas mainly for positioning, because the satellite images were captured two days ago and suspected objects are also moving. Besides positioning, the searching aircraft will cast down some monitoring buoys. The black box will send some signals if the wreckage is from missing Malaysian flight.
Australian warship "Success" is heading for the southern Indian Ocean, some merchant ships are also en route to the area. The warships will locate the floating objects based on aircraft positioning and finally it will determine whether it is wreckage of missing Malaysian jet. Australia said that warship "Success" is well equipped and can determine the debris on board.