One of the Chinese IL-76 aircraft searching for the missing Malaysian Airlines plane, spotted what were described as “suspicious objects” in the area of the southern Indian Ocean being targeted as the likely area in which the plane came down.
Their discovery, alongside sightings of other items of floating debris, is what caused the Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, to make the announcement today that his government had determined that this was indeed the place where flight MH-370 had come to a watery end.
A reporter from the Xinhua China news agency was on board one of the two Il-76 aircraft China had sent to help the search effort. He said the searchers saw two relatively large floating objects with many white smaller ones scattered over a radius of several kilometers.
This information was forwarded to the Chinese icebreaker Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, which left Perth on Friday. This research vessel – usually based in the Antarctic – then changed course toward the newly identified area and is expected to arrive in the area early Tuesday.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), said in a statement: “The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft in the Australian Search and Rescue Region has resumed this (Monday) morning, with further aircraft joining the operation out of Perth.”
It added. “AMSA is using all satellite imagery and information available in its search area development,”
On Monday some 10 aircraft from various countries, including Australia, America, Japan and China were scouring the designated search area. The U.S. P-8 Poseidon – a specially adapted Boeing 737 – is the most sophisticated plane of them all, as was reported by The Inquisitr last week.
The Malaysian Boeing 777-200ER was first thought to have crashed off the Vietnamese coast in the South China Sea. The plane was supposed to land in Beijing at 6.30 a.m. the same day. Contact with the plane was lost at 1.40 a.m. when it was flying over the air traffic control area of Ho Chi Minh City.
In spite of the wealth of equipment on the IL-76 and other aircraft, AMSA said that they still rely on the human eye as being the most effective tool. There are 20 State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers from Western Australia acting as air observers on board the civil aircraft.
In addition to the aircraft, the Royal Australian Navy vessel HMAS Success is in the search area, and ships from other nations are traveling to join it.
Now the search for the Malaysian aircraft’s black boxes will begin in earnest, and time is running out for that task as the batteries powering the locator signals only have about two weeks left.
As for the relatives of the passengers and crew, their waiting and hoping against hope is over. Now will come the grieving, the anger and the questions.
And the saga of Malaysian Airlines flight MH-370 is far from over.