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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Satellites Spot Possible Debris From Malaysia Airlines Flight -- Australian Prime Minister Says Two Objects Shown in Imagery Are Located in Indian Ocean -- By Ross Kelly and James Glynn, The Wall Street Journal

SYDNEY—An Australian-led operation is under way to verify whether objects located by satellite imagery in the southern Indian Ocean belong to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared en route to China from Malaysia on March 8.

"New and credible information has come to light in relation to the search," Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott during a regular sitting of Parliament. 

He added that there was no certainty the objects spotted were part of the aircraft, which disappeared en route to China from Malaysia on March 8. 

Still, the apparent sighting is the strongest lead yet in a multinational search that has so far yielded little. Search crews found nothing after investigating objects identified in the South China Sea by a Chinese satellite last week, while oil slicks spotted near Vietnam turned out to be from ships in the area.

Mr. Abbott said he had informed Malaysia's prime minister of the latest development. 

Meanwhile, Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the Australian reports were "credible," but cautioned against jumping to conclusions. He said he hadn't yet seen the satellite images, but hopes this is a "positive development." 

"You know how huge the area is," he said. "We want to verify and we want to corroborate."

The operation has dispatched four aircraft to an area about 2,500 kilometers (1,553 miles) southwest of Perth, in Western Australia, to assess the finding, Australia's maritime safety authority said Thursday.
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