PERTH, Australia- Aircraft from several nations swarmed over the southern Indian Ocean Monday as the search for a missing Malaysian passenger plane was energized with mounting evidence of floating objects suspected to be linked to the plane.
But the challenge of recovering the still-unidentified flotsam took on added urgency as a tropical cyclone rumbled toward the search zone, threatening to worsen already rough conditions that have thwarted spotters.
China said Monday that one of its aircraft scouring the area had seen “suspicious” debris, adding to an Australian aircraft’s visual sighting Saturday of a wooden pallet alongside strapping and other debris.
France and China both released satellite information on the weekend that also indicated floating objects far off Australia’s west coast — findings that have buoyed hopes of a breakthrough in the more than two-week-old puzzle.
A growing international fleet of military and civilian aircraft has converged on the region, supported by Australian and British naval vessels tasked with retrieving any objects from the forbidding waters.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished without warning on March 8 after suddenly veering off course over the South China Sea en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew.