More Satellite Images Suggest Malaysia Airlines Plane Crashed Into Southern Indian Ocean

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 23 2014 1:02 PM

More Satellite Images Suggest Malaysia Airlines Plane Crashed Into Southern Indian Ocean

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Australian crew operate radars and sonar on board a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion as they search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean

Photo by ROB GRIFFITH/AFP/Getty Images

Another day, another set of satellite images in the search for clues about what happened to Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Even as search for debris has yet to produce any concrete results, there seems to be increasing evidence that the search teams are right to be focusing on the “southern corridor.” On Sunday, it was France’s turn to unveil fresh satellite images that appear to show “floating debris” in the southern Indian Ocean, off the west coast of Australia. It marked the third set of images that appear to show debris from the plane in that general vicinity, although it is unclear whether the latest objects were found close to the potential debris spotted by China and Australia over the last week, notes the Washington Post.

"This morning, Malaysia received new satellite images from the French authorities showing potential objects in the vicinity of the southern corridor," the Malaysian Transport Ministry said in a statement, according to Reuters. "Malaysia immediately relayed these images to the Australian rescue coordination center."

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Despite the lack of details about the images or where the potential debris was spotted, “the announcement appears likely to reinforce a belief that the Malaysia Airlines plane probably fell into the ocean off Western Australia after departing radically from its planned route,” notes the New York Times. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot agrees with that assessment, saying that each piece of evidence gets rescue workers one step closer to figuring out what happened. “Obviously we have now had a number of very credible leads and there is increasing hope, no more than hope, that we might be on the road to discovering what did happen,” Abbott said.

This new piece of potential evidence though did not help the multi-national team searching for debris as Sunday’s search ended with nothing new to report. The operations were particularly frustrating today because “there was cloud down to the surface and at times we were completely enclosed by cloud,” Royal Australian Air Force flight Lt. Russell Adams said.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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