The objects were picked up by commercial satellite on Sunday. Search planes were dispatched on Thursday but found nothing. Ships are there or on the way, and aircraft from Australia, New Zealand and the United States resumed the search Friday, officials said.
Authorities cautioned the
objects could be something else -- shipping containers that fell off a
vessel, for instance. But they said they represent the best lead so far
in the search for the missing airliner, which vanished 13 days ago with
239 passengers and crew aboard on March 8 while en route from the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
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When Malaysia's acting transportation minister was discussing the radar images in the southern hemisphere today, he said a number of countries still were searching in the north. China and India are affirming that.
Even though China is sending vessels to the southern Indian Ocean, it also is looking at the "northern corridor" -- a northern route where officials say the plane could have flown, stretching to northern Thailand, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
It's widely believed that the plane is less likely to have taken the northern route. Still, China is "stepping up efforts to verify and analyze satellite and radar data concerning the vast Chinese territory covered by the northern corridor," China's Foreign Ministry said on its website Thursday, quoting spokesman Hong Lei at a press briefing in Beijing.
And, two formations of Chinese vessels have sailed to the Bay of Bengal "and the waters to the west of Indonesia," due to arrive Friday, Hong said.