Weather frustrates hunt for missing Malaysian jet

Air search halted as new satellite images emerge showing possible debris field

A candlelight vigil for the passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 in central Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Poor weather conditions halted the air search for the passenger jet presumed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean. PhotographAthit Perawongmeth/Reuters

A candlelight vigil for the passengers of the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 in central Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Poor weather conditions halted the air search for the passenger jet presumed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean. PhotographAthit Perawongmeth/Reuters

Fri, Mar 28, 2014, 01:00

High winds and icy weather halted the air search yesterday for a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet presumed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, just as new satellite images emerged showing what could be a large debris field from the plane.

The latest possible sightings of wreckage from flight MH370, which went missing 20 days ago, were captured by Thai and Japanese satellites in roughly the same remote expanse of sea as earlier images reported by France, Australia and China.

“We detected floating objects, perhaps more than 300,” said Anond Snidvongs, the head of Thailand’s space technology development agency. “We have never said that the pieces are part of MH370 but have so far identified them only as floating objects.”

A Japanese satellite also captured images of 10 objects which could be part of the plane, Kyodo news agency quoted the government as saying yesterday.

An international search team of 11 military and civilian aircraft and five ships had been heading for an area where more than 100 objects that could be from the Boeing 777 had been identified by French satellite pictures earlier this week, but severe weather forced the planes to turn back.

Forecast
“The forecast in the area was calling for severe icing, severe turbulence and near-zero visibility,” said Lieut Commander Adam Schantz, the officer in charge of the US Navy Poseidon P8 maritime surveillance aircraft detachment.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the effort, confirmed flights had been called off but said ships continued to search despite battering waves. – (Reuters)