KUALA LUMPUR- Australia said Thursday that two objects possibly related to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 had been sighted at sea, marking a potential breakthrough in the nearly two-week search for the aircraft and its 239 passengers and crew.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told parliament that “new and credible information” based on satellite imagery had come to light, and four long-range surveillance planes were being diverted to look into the find in the southern Indian Ocean.
“Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified,” Abbot said.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority had said that the vast area it was scouring had been “significantly refined” following closer analysis of flight MH370’s fuel reserves.
The Boeing 777 vanished in the early hours of March 8 after veering drastically off course over the South China Sea while en route to Beijing.
Sketchy radar and satellite data had resulted in investigators proposing two vast search corridors, stretching south into the Indian Ocean and north over South and Central Asia.
Most analysts had favored the maritime southern corridor, pointing out the unlikelihood of the airliner passing undetected over nearly a dozen countries.
But the international search has been marked by numerous false leads, and Abbott sought to temper expectations.