|(Flight MH370) China satellite sights 24m object among debris near Vietnam
Grainy satellite images that a Chinese science and defense agency said may show debris from the missing Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 provided another clue today in the sea and land search, pointing searchers to a location nearer to the plane's original flight path south of Vietnam.
The plane operated by the loss-making Malaysian state-owned carrier disappeared with 239 people aboard just hours after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing early Saturday. Since then, the search has covered 92,600 square kilometers, first east and then west of Malaysia and even expanded toward India on Wednesday.
The sighting by China, if confirmed, would be closer to where the frantic hunt started.
A Xinhua report said the images from around 11 a.m. on Sunday appear to show “three suspected floating objects'' of varying sizes in a 20-kilometer radius, the largest about 24-by-22 meters.
The images originally were posted on the website of China's State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense. That site reports coordinates of a location in the sea off the southern tip of Vietnam and east of Malaysia.
But since the satellite images were taken four days ago, it is far from certain that whatever they show would be in the same location now.
Malaysia's civil aviation chief, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, said Malaysia had not been officially informed by China about the images, which he said he was learning about from the news.
He urged caution. “There have been lots of reports of suspected debris.''—AP