A satellite image released by China on Saturday offers a new sign that wreckage from a Malaysia Airlines plane lost for more than two weeks could be in a remote stretch of the southern Indian Ocean where planes and ships have been searching for three days.
China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense said on its website that a Chinese satellite took an image of an object 22 meters (72 feet) by 13 meters (43 feet) around noon Tuesday. The image location was about 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of where an Australian satellite viewed two objects two days earlier. The larger object was about as long as the one the Chinese satellite detected.
“The news that I just received is that the Chinese ambassador received a satellite image of a floating object in the southern corridor and they will be sending ships to verify,” Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters Saturday said.
The latest image is another clue in a baffling search for Flight 370, which went missing March 8 shortly after leaving Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing with 239 people on board.
After about a week of confusion, authorities said pings sent by the Boeing 777 for several hours after it disappeared from air traffic control screens indicated that the plane ended up in one of two huge arcs: a northern corridor stretching from Malaysia up to Central Asia, or a southern corridor that stretches in an arch toward Antarctica.
The discovery of the two objects by the Australian satellite led several countries to send planes and ships to the area, about 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) southwest of Australia. One of the objects spotted in the earlier satellite imagery was described as 24 meters (almost 80 feet) in length and the other was 5 meters (15 feet). But three days of searching have produced nothing.