Malaysia Airlines MH370: Objects Found in Indian Ocean, PM Abbott Confirms

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By Athena Yenko | March 20, 2014 3:18 PM EST

Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Parliament on Thursday afternoon that "new and credible information has come to light" as a result of Australia-led search above Indian Ocean.

"The Australian maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has received information on satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search," Mr Abbott told Parliament.

"Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified."

Mr Abbott also said that he already made contact with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, but that he was extra careful not to raise expectations high as the objects had yet to be identified.

Australia's RAAF Orion was immediately task to divert its search to where the objects where found. The aircraft were expected to reach the area at about 2:15 AEDT. Mr Abbott said three more aircraft were sent to the area and more information will be delegated soon.

"They are tasked for more intensive follow-up search," he added.

Mr Abbott warned that the search task was extremely difficult and the objects seen may turn out to be not related to the search."

The search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 became larger than the total land mass of Australia. Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein announced that the entire search area is now 2.24 million square nautical miles. That is 7.7 million square kilometres and Australia's land mass is approximately 7.6 million square kilometres.

On Monday, Australia was tasked to lead the search across the southern vector towards Indian Ocean from an area of 3,000 kilometres south-west of Perth, covering 600,000 square kilometres of ocean. This area was calculated through plotting satellite data obtained from last known signals from MH370.

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