Flight MH370: Australia says planes now searching new area

WATCH: Each passing day becomes more heart-wrenching for the families of the passengers who were aboard Flight MH370. Paul Johnson reports.


TORONTO – Australia says four planes are now searching in a new area in the Indian Ocean for possible signs of the Malaysian airliner that went missing three weeks ago.

John Young, manager of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s emergency response division, said Friday that four planes were in the area, and that six ships were headed there.

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READ MORE: New Zealand plane spots objects in new search area

Officials said earlier that the search zone had been shifted 1,100 kilometres to the northeast after new analysis of radar data suggested the plane flew faster than thought and used more fuel, which may have reduced the distance it travelled.

The news comes after a Thai satellite has detected about 300 objects floating in the Indian Ocean near the search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

The images showed “300 objects of various sizes” in the southern Indian Ocean about 2,700 kilometres (1,675 miles) southwest of Perth, Australia, according to Anond Snidvongs, director of Thailand’s space technology development agency.

He said the images were taken by the Thaichote satellite on Monday but took two days to process and were relayed to Malaysian authorities on Wednesday.

Snidvongs said the objects were about 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the area where a French satellite on Sunday spotted 122 objects.

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The announcement came after the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said it had to pull back all 11 planes scheduled to take part in the search Thursday because of heavy rain, winds and low clouds. Five ships continued the search.

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READ MORE: Search for jet finds nothing; stopped by weather

It remains uncertain whether the objects are from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared on March 8 with 239 people aboard, including two Canadians.

New Zealand air force officer describes difficulties facing search teams

The coordinator for New Zealand’s search efforts emphasised the scale of the task facing them on Thursday, but said not to give up hope in the hunt for missing plane.

Flight Lieutenant Stephen Graham, speaking at an Australian air force base in Perth, said that while searching “you’re rolling past so quick, we’re flying at 200 knots… you really get very little time to identify an object.”

He added, “It is a little disheartening, you know this will be a difficult mission and you know it will go on for a very long time. But we’ve done similar work… and we do find them. So there is always hope for us and that’s what keeps you going.”

WATCH: Australia suspends search for missing Malaysian jet due to bad weather

Chinese diplomats arrive at hotel to meet relatives of MH370 passengers

The Chinese special envoy and Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia met families of passengers aboard the missing jet on Thursday at a hotel near the Malaysian capital.

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Zhang was dispatched to Kuala Lumpur by Beijing on Wednesday and met with top Malaysian officials, including the prime minister and the acting transport minister.

Chinese relatives have been continually frustrated with Malaysia’s handling of search efforts.

Pilot’s son breaks silence, dismisses speculation

The youngest son of missing Flight MH370 pilot Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah has broken his silence and dismissed allegations that his father deliberately crashed the plane into the Indian Ocean.

READ MORE: Pilot’s son breaks silence, dismisses speculation

“I’ve read everything online. But I’ve ignored all the speculation. I know my father better,” said Ahmad Seth in an interview with the New Strait Times. ”We may not be as close as he travels so much. But I understand him.”

Law firm takes first step toward suing Boeing Co.

Meanwhile, a U.S.-based law firm filed court documents that often precede a lawsuit on behalf of a relative of an Indonesian-born passenger.

READ MORE: U.S. law firm takes first step toward suing Boeing Co. over missing plane

The filing in Chicago asked a judge to order Malaysia Airlines and Chicago-based Boeing Co. to turn over documents related to the possibility that “negligence” caused the Boeing 777 to crash, including any documentation about the chances of “fatal depressurization” in the cockpit.

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With files from The Associated Press


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