No sign of Malaysia plane debris but search to continue | News | DW | 21.03.2014
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No sign of Malaysia plane debris but search to continue

A search of remote sea in the southern Indian Ocean for any sign of a missing Malaysia Airlines jet has so far turned up nothing. Weather conditions and the location of the search area are making the hunt difficult.

Watch video 01:39

Search for possible jet wreckage continues

Australia's acting Prime Minister Warren Truss said on Friday that "nothing of particular significance" was identified in the search, but that "work would continue." Truss is acting premier while Tony Abbott visits Papua New Guinea.

On Thursday, Malaysian officials said they'd been given a "credible lead" after satellites detected two objects in the southern Indian Ocean. There has been no confirmed sight of the wreckage but the satellite images sparked a huge hunt of the area, around 2,500 kilometers southwest of the Australian city of Perth (1,553 miles).

Flight MH370 disappeared nearly two weeks ago during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, carrying 239 people.

Truss said the air search would continue, but added that the satellite imagery was already five days old.

"So something that was floating on the sea that long ago may no longer be floating - it may have slipped to the bottom. It's also certain that any debris or other material would have moved a significant distance over that time, potentially hundreds of kilometers," Truss said.

One of the objects detected by the satellite was estimated to be 24 meters long (78 feet), while another was five meters (16 feet).

The search area is so remote that it takes aircraft four hours to fly there and four hours to fly back, and with only enough fuel to search for about two hours. The Australian, New Zealand and US aircraft tasked with searching the area are to be joined on the weekend by Chinese and Japanese planes.

"It's about the most inaccessible spot you can imagine on the face of the Earth, but if there is anything down there, we will find it," Abbott told reporters in Papua New Guinea.

Malaysian Defense and Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein was due to speak later on Friday with US Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, to ask for greater assistance, including "remotely operated vehicles for deep ocean salvage.

jr/pfd (Reuters, AP)

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