Missing Plane: Orange Objects Found Just Fishing Equipment

Monday, 31 Mar 2014 09:24 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Four orange objects found in the Indian Ocean once described as the "most promising leads" in locating Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 have turned out to be unrelated fishing equipment, Australian authorities said on Monday.

The news dashed hopes that the objects would shed light on what happened to the plane that experts believe crashed into the ocean sometime after the jetliner lost contact with radar on March 8. 

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"We are searching a vast area of ocean, and we are working on quite limited information," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said to reporters Monday, according to CNN. "Nevertheless, the best brains in the world are applying themselves to this task. ... If this mystery is solvable, we will solve it."

Ten planes and 11 ships resumed searching some 98,069 square miles of the Indian Ocean west of Australia on Monday.

On CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, U.S. Navy Cmdr. William Marks said his team needs a piece of physical evidence to shrink the search area.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told the Associated Press that the search is operating on guestimates "until we locate some actual wreckage from the aircraft and then do the regression analysis that might tell us where the aircraft went into the ocean."

According to USA Today, Malaysia's defense minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Monday that a new joint search coordination agency will be created and operated out of Perth. 

Former Australian defense chief Angus Houston will head the new Joint Agency Coordination Center, which will take charge of communication with international agencies involved in the search.

"We owe it to everyone to do whatever we reasonably can and we can keep searching for quite some time to come ... and, as I said, the intensity of our search and the magnitude of operations is increasing, not decreasing," Abbott said.

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