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Malaysia flight MH370: Large object spotted in missing plane search

By Lizzie Dearden

A large piece of possible debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been spotted in satellite images by China, according to Malaysian officials.

Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia's transport minister, dramatically interrupted a press conference when he was handed a written note from the Chinese ambassador to deliver the news.

 

He said an item 22 metres long and 13 metres wide had been seen in the southern corridor of the Indian Ocean, an area which investigators had pinpointed as the most likely endpoint for the Boeing 777.

 

The Chinese government is expected to formally announce any findings within the next two hours. The image was reportedly taken on Tuesday about 120 miles from the current search area.

 

Mr Hussein had earlier told the conference he believed there was "still hope" for relatives.

 

He said: "I can give an assurance to all family members out there that as long as there is hope, we will continue with the search."

 

Tony Abbott, the Prime Minister of Australia, said weather conditions that had hampered earlier efforts with bad visibility were improving.

 

During an official visit to Papua New Guinea, he said: “There are aircraft and vessels from other nations that are joining this particular search because tenuous though it inevitably is, this is nevertheless the first credible evidence of anything that has happened to Flight MH370.”

 

Two Japanese planes will arrive on Sunday and more ships were arriving to join the operation in waters up to 7,000 metres deep.

 

Warren Truss, Australia's acting prime minister while Mr Abbott is abroad, admitted a complete search could take a long time.

 

“It is a very remote area, but we intend to continue the search until we're absolutely satisfied that further searching would be futile - and that day is not in sight,” he said.

 

“If there's something there to be found, I'm confident that this search effort will locate it.”

 

Satellite pictures showed two large objects floating in the ocean about 1,500 miles south-west of Perth, raising hopes of finding debris from Flight MH370, which vanished with 239 passengers and crew en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

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