Transportation officials have described satellite images of two objects in the Indian Ocean as a "credible lead" in the search for a Malaysian passenger jet that vanished almost a fortnight ago. The search is ongoing.
Malaysian Transportation Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Thursday that after the discovery of the two objects, part of the investigation into the disappearance of the jet would now work to determine if these were connected to the disappearance of flight MH370 nearly two weeks ago.
However, Hishammuddin added that the international search for the plane in the northern and southern corridors in which it is thought most likely to have flown, remained ongoing.
"Until we are certain that we have located MH370, search and rescue operations will continue in both corridors," he said.
"For families around the world, the one piece of information they want most is the information we just don't have: the location of MH370," he added.
Hishammuddin was speaking several hours after Australian officials announced that a satellite had spotted the two objects in the south of the Indian Ocean. They are located roughly 2,500 kilometers (1,500 miles) southwest of the Australian city of Perth.
"The objects are relatively indistinct. The indication to me is of objects that are of a reasonable size and probably awash with water and bobbing up and down over the surface," John Young of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) told reporters in Canberra.
He said the largest was "assessed as being 24 meters (79 feet). There is another one that is smaller than that."
Two ships have also been sent to the area, which is south of the southern corridor that the search has been concentrating on.
"This is a lead, it is probably the best lead we have right now," Young said. "But we need to get there, find them, see them, assess them, to know whether it's really meaningful or not."
Flight MH370 and the 239 passengers and crew members on board have not been heard from since the aircraft disappeared from radar screens on March 8 about an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing.
pfd/kms (AP, AFP, Reuters)