World News

Chinese Aircraft Spots 'Suspicious Objects' During Search for Missing Plane

Chinese media say an aircraft searching for a missing Malaysia Airlines plane has spotted what it described as "suspicious objects" floating in the southern Indian Ocean.

The official Chinese news agency Xinhua reports that two "relatively big" floating objects and several smaller white ones were scattered over several kilometers.

Authorities plan to search the area to see if the debris may have come from the missing Boeing 777, which disappeared more than two weeks ago.

In another development, the U.S. Navy says it is sending a black box detector to aid in the search for the plane.

The U.S. Pacific Command said (in a statement) Monday that the "Towed Pinger Locator" has highly sensitive listening capability so that if the wreck is located, it can hear the black box pinger down to a depth of about 6,100 meters. Black box is the common term for a plane's flight recorders, which contain detailed information about what takes place on an aircraft.

The search for the missing Malaysian passenger jet has so far proved futile again Monday, despite various reports of possible debris from the plane's wreckage floating in the Indian Ocean.

Planes and ships from several countries searched the remote waters 2,500 kilometers southwest of Australia for a fourth day Sunday, but found nothing of significance. The search continues Monday.



France reported Sunday picking up satellite-generated radar echoes of possible debris in the southern Indian Ocean, similar to earlier satellite photo images collected by Australia and China. That led Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to voice the hope that a breakthrough is possible to find the Boeing 777 with 239 people aboard.

A search plane spotted debris on Saturday, including a wooden shipping pallet, although it was not clear whether the pallet came from the aircraft or a passing ship. A New Zealand military plane that diverted to the location found only seaweed.

The Malaysia Airlines passenger jet disappeared while on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. There has been no evidence so far of what happened to the jet.

Investigators are not ruling out anything, including catastrophic mechanical failure, pilot sabotage and terrorism. They say it is possible someone with knowledge of planes diverted it far off course.

Twenty-six nations have been hunting for the plane across an area covering more than seven million square kilometers, from Kazakhstan to the southern Indian Ocean.

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