China's State Administration of Science says it has found three possible images of wreckage, close to the original flight path of MH370
Hopes are growing that the drawn-out search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 may be coming to an end, with reports of debris having been found in the sea - near to its original flight path.
The BBC reported that a Chinese government agency had released three satellite photos which appeared to show objects floating close to an area over which MH370 would have flown, after taking off early last Saturday morning.
The blurred images showed white objects in the water and were taken at 11am local time Sunday morning.
It was reported that one piece of debris measured 19m by 14m.
The images were released late on Wednesday by China's State Administration of Science and the coordinates given placed the objects in the sea between Malaysia and Vietnam.
If the find is confirmed - and it may be some time before this is done - then it means that much of the resources allocated to search for MH370 has been directed in the wrong place.
Malaysia had started a new search for the plane more than 500 miles to the west of the debris area after its military said it had detected a mystery plane flying in that direction. One theory posited was that the plane had inexplicably turned back from its original flight route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and headed west.
Peter Goelz, former director of the US National Transportation Safety Board, told CNN last night: "It's where it's supposed to be. There was always great scepticism about this 90 degree turn. They have got to get vessels and aircraft there as quickly as humanly possible to find out where they have drifted to and get eyes on."
Until Wednesday the handling of the search and rescue operation by Malaysian authorities had already led to the expression of growing anger.
China's foreign ministry said there was “too much confusion” as, over 100 hours after the Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing vanished with 239 people on board, there had been still no information on the fate of the plane and its passengers.
Malaysian officials in Beijing were pelted with water bottles as Chinese relatives of missing passengers shouted: “Tell us the truth!”
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, the Malaysian transport minister said the hunt for flight MH370 could take weeks or even months.
“We are looking at the long haul,” said Hishammuddin Hussein.
The last known communication from the plane as it left Malaysian airspace and entered Vietnamese control was “alright, good night”, a Malaysian official stated, suggesting everything was under control on board minutes before the plane went missing.
The search was widened on Wednesday, with Malaysian government officials asking India to help look for wreckage near the Andaman Sea, suggesting they think the Boeing 777 have reached those waters after crossing into the Strait of Malacca – 250 miles from the flight’s last known coordinates.
A Colorado-based satellite imaging company, DigitalGlobe, was using “crowd sourcing” to help find the plane, with over two million people logging on to scour a series of digital images of the search area.