Two Chinese ships are searching a new area of the Indian Ocean west of Australia in their hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. More objects have been spotted by rescue planes.
The search for the missing Boeing 777, which disappeared from the radar on March 8 with 239 people on board, has moved to an area 1,100 kilometers (658 miles) further north. New analysis of radar and satellite data concluded the Malaysia Airlines plane had travelled faster and for a shorter distance the day it disappeared.
Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01 and the navy vessel Jinggangshan, which carries two helicopters, trawled the new area in the Indian Ocean for the jet on Saturday, as the search entered its fourth week.
The Jinggangshan is searching for debris, oil slicks and life jackets.The Xinhua state news agency also reported that Chinese aircraft flew over the area and spotted more objects in the water. The Australian navy supply ship HMAS Success is also in the area.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is managing the search, noted: "The objects sighted by aircraft cannot be verified or discounted as being from MH370 until they are relocated and recovered by ships. The Haixun 01 and HMAS Success reported they have retrieved a number of objects from the ocean but so far no objects confirmed to be related to MH370 have been recovered."
Some relatives of passengers on board the jet have refused to accept the veracity of the Malaysia authorities' reports. After a meeting with the families on Saturday, Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said at a press briefing: "We are not going to stop with the search and rescue."
"We promised that no matter how remote the chances are in finding any survivors, our utmost priority always was that," Hishammuddin added. "If there is any information on survivors, we will pursue it."
The rescuers believe they have about a week to find the so-called black box flight recorders onboard the jet before their batteries fade and the signals give out.
jm/mz (dpa, Reuters)