Monday, March 24, 2014
Chinese and Australian search planes spotted several objects in the southern Indian Ocean on Monday that could be debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner. A summary of the latest information in the investigation:
An Australian P3 Orion aircraft has located two objects in the search zone some 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) southwest of Australia — the first grey or green and circular, the second orange and rectangular. An Australian navy supply ship, the HMAS Success, could reach the objects within several hours or by Tuesday morning, Malaysia's Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said.
A Chinese plane crew, meanwhile, spotted two large objects and several smaller ones spread across several square kilometers (miles), Xinhua News Agency reported. At least one of the items — a white, square-shaped object — was captured on a camera aboard the plane. A Chinese icebreaker, the Snow Dragon, was headed toward the area and would arrive Tuesday morning.
BLACK BOX LOCATOR
The U.S. Pacific command said it was sending a Towed Pinger Locator to the region in case a debris field is found. The equipment, which is pulled behind a vessel at slow speeds, has highly sensitive listening capability that can detect "pings" from a plane's so-called black box down to a depth of 20,000 feet (6,100 meters).
An Australian navy support vessel, the Ocean Shield, equipped with acoustic detection equipment, was also moving into the search zone and would arrive in three or four days.
Australia, China, the U.S., Japan and New Zealand have all contributed planes or ships to the search effort in the southern Indian Ocean. At least 14 planes and nine ships are involved or headed toward the search zone.