World News

Bad Weather Delays MH370 Search; New Satellite Images Released

Thai satellite photos have revealed more possible debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner, but the search for the plane was again delayed because of bad weather.

The Thai space agency said Thursday one of its satellites spotted about 300 floating objects ranging from two to 15 meters in size in the remote southern Indian Ocean.

The news comes after 122 possible objects, some of them shiny and up to 23 meters long, were seen in French satellite photos near the same area.

Efforts to reach the debris have so far been unsuccessful.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said Thursday poor conditions forced all search planes to leave the region. It said ships will continue searching.

In a statement on Twitter Thursday evening Australia time, the authority said it expects the bad weather to continue for 24 hours.

Eleven airplanes and five ships had scrambled to the area, 2,500 kilometers off the southwest coast of Australia, in an effort to reach the possible debris before the bad weather hit.

It is the second time this week that poor conditions have delayed the search, which is taking place in one of the most isolated and treacherous bodies of water on Earth.



Malaysian officials stress the objects may not be parts of the missing aircraft, but the news is the most promising lead yet in the 19-day old search for the plane.

Flight Lieutenant Stephen Graham, who is heading New Zealand's efforts, described the task as difficult.



"Just thinking about 'is it going to be behind this next wave?' And then when you see something, especially something time critical like a person in the water, then the whole aircraft's focus shifts from searching to the actual rescue, to getting a life raft in the water or something like that."



Malaysian officials say satellite data shows the aircraft almost certainly crashed into the sea, far from any land.

The plane, which was carrying 239 people, went missing without a distress call on March 8, hours after departing Kuala Lumpur for Beijing.

Once wreckage is found, the search effort will then focus on finding the plane's flight data recorder, or black box, which should provide clues about what went wrong.

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