BREAKING: 122 Objects Spotted by Satellite in Search for Flight 370


For ABC News, Dan Good reports: New satellite images show a debris field of 122 objects floating in the Indian Ocean potentially connected to doomed Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, officials said at a news conference today.

Malaysia’s Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the images were taken on Sunday, March 23, about 1,600 miles off the coast of Perth, Australia, and relayed by the France-based Airbus Defense and Space. Authorities received the images Tuesday.

122-objects-news-alertHishammuddin said the objects were seen close to where three other satellites previously detected objects. The newly-spotted objects vary in size, with the largest about 75 feet in length, Hishammuddin said. Some objects appeared to be bright, possibly indicating solid debris.

“This is another new lead that will help direct the search operation,” he said.

That desperate, multinational search operation resumed today across a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean after fierce winds and high waves that had forced a daylong halt eased considerably.

Six countries were participating in the search — Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Japan, China and South Korea. A total of 12 planes and two ships were involved, with the search area divided into east and west sectors.

Australia’s Maritime Safety Authority said search crews spotted three objects today, including a blue object and two objects that are likely rope. The items were not relocated on further passes, and the items weren’t distinctive of the missing plane, AMSA said.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott expressed hope that search crews would recover an object connected to the doomed plane, which was carrying 239 people when it went missing March 8.

“A considerable amount of debris has been sighted in the area where the flight was last recorded,” he told Australian parliament today. “Bad weather and inaccessibility have, so far, prevented any of it being recovered. But we are confident that some will be.”

Malaysia announced earlier this week that a mathematical analysis of the final known satellite signals from the plane had proved beyond doubt it gone down in the sea, taking the lives of all those on board.

Despite the new data, the search zone remained huge — an area estimated at 622,000 square miles, about the size of Alaska.

In Beijing, some families held out a glimmer of hope their loved ones might somehow have survived. About two-thirds of the missing were Chinese, and their relatives have lashed out at Malaysia for essentially declaring their family members dead without any physical evidence of the plane’s remains. Many also believed that the Malaysian officials had not been transparent or swift in communicating information with them about the status of the search….Read more…

ABC News

ABC News’ Rebecca Lee and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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