Chinese aircraft spots new floating objects, search for MH370 intensified

Photo: Chinese aircraft spots new floating objects, search for MH370 intensified / Other News

A Chinese military aircraft searching for the missing Malaysian jetliner spotted white floating objects in the remote southern Indian Ocean west of here Saturday, Chinese military sources said, Xinhua reported.

The crew of a Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 plane spotted numerous white floating objects in about 20 minutes starting from 11:05 a.m. local time (0305 GMT) and took pictures of them.

The Chinese plane took off at 06:04 local time Saturday morning (2204 GMT Friday) and reached the search area some 2,700 km off the coast of Perth at 09:55 a.m. local time (0155 GMT).

The findings have been reported to Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC), which is coordinating the massive multinational search.

Later in the day, a black box detector deployed by Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01 picked up a pulse signal with a frequency of 37.5kHz per second at around 25 degrees south latitude and 101 degrees east.

However, the signal has not been confirmed as related to the missing jet, China Maritime Search and Rescue Center said.

According to a Xinhua reporter on the scene, Chinese naval vessels have intensified search efforts.

Two Chinese naval ships, Jinggangshan and Kunlunshan, joined Chinese petrol ship Haixun 01 on Saturday in the search area, located between 20 to 26 degrees south latitude and 101 to 104 degrees east longitude.

Chinese missile destroyer Haikou was tasked with a search area centered at 26 degrees south latitude and 96 degrees east longitude, and Chinese supply ship Qiandaohu searched an area south of 29 degrees south latitude and 98 degrees east longitude.

The four-ship Chinese naval flotilla convened on March 30 in waters west of the Western Australian capital to coordinate the search for the missing flight.

Also on Saturday, the Malaysian Minister of Defense and acting Minister of Transport Hishammuddin Hussein said his government had established three ministerial committees to streamline and strengthen work to find MH370.

The three committees are in charge of caring for families of those on board the missing plane, investigation and deployment of assets for the ongoing search operation.

On Saturday, up to 10 military planes, three civil jets and 11 ships were mobilized to search an area of about 217,000 square km, 1,700 km northwest of Perth.

Australian ADV Ocean Shield, equipped with a U.S.-supplied pinger-locater, and British oceanographic vessel HMS Echo continued scouring beneath the water along a single 240-km track.

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