After 5 days of its mysterious disappearance, there appears to be some hope on the whereabouts of the missing Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 jet bound for Beijing on Saturday.
A report by The Sydney Morning Herald said that Chinese satellites in search of the missing Flight 370 had observed a suspected crash at seas between Malaysian and Vietnamese waters.
China's State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense released on Thursday potential images of the ill-fated plane, which could eventually confirm suspicion that the jet indeed crashed with 239 people on board.
The images, captured on March 9 - a day after the plane disappeared - include three suspected objects with their sizes.
However, far from jumping into conclusion that the plane crashed, the report would need to be verified further in view of an earlier report of a suspected plane wreckage at the Gulf of Thailand which proved to be wrong.
The release by China of the image happened on the same day that Mike McKay, a New Zealander working on Songa Mercur, an oil rig off the coast of Vietnam, claimed to have seen a burning object in the sky at about the time the Malaysian Airlines aircraft was reported missing. He provided Vietnamese authorities the coordinates of the rig in an email.
Vietnamese authorities deployed a plane to check the sighting but found nothing, said Vietnamese naval officer Le Ming Thanh.
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The international search for the missing plane widened to expand into the Andaman Sea, which is above Sumatra, said Malaysia Civil Aviation Chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman.
A C-130 Hercules transport plane belonging to Japan's Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) is seen at the ASDF base in Naha on Japan's southern island of Okinawa March 12, 2014, before departing to help in the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777-200 plane. Japan's defence ministry said three more aircraft, some of them P3C surveillance planes like this, will join the hunt soon. Members of the Japanese Self Defence Force flew out ahead on Tuesday to assess what more could be done to help the investigation in to the disappearance of flight MH370. The search for the jetliner, which vanished on a flight between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, expanded further into the Andaman and South China Seas on Wednesday, with authorities no closer to explaining what happened to the plane or the 239 people on board. Mandatory Credit. REUTERS/Kyodo (JAPAN - Tags: DISASTER TRANSPORT MILITARY) ATTENTION EDITORS � THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. MANDATORY CREDIT. JAPAN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. YES
He said that while it is a very big area to cover, Malaysia is not leaving anything to chance and has to cover every possibility and in response to radar data that indicated the jet possibly changed course from its intended flight plan.
Vietnam, in turn, suspended its search while waiting for clarification from Malaysia on potential new directions amid mounting criticisms in Kuala Lumpur over an alleged chaotic lack of coordination in the ongoing search.