Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has told his parliament that searchers may have spotted, via satellite, two objects related to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean. Australian military aircraft have been sent to the area to investigate.
"New and credible information has come to light," he announced. Here's the latest:
12:41 a.m.: John Young from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) announced in his press conference that one of the assessed objects could be as large as 24 meters. The objects identified by the Australian Geospacial Intelligence Organization (AGIO) are "relatively indistinct" and expert analysis says that they are "awash with water, moving up and down out of the surface."
Four aircraft have been diverted to the area. A U.S. Navy Poseidon is on the scene now. An RAAF Hercules aircraft will drop buoys for drift modeling to understand water currents. Weather conditions are moderate and poor visibility in the area has been reported.
Here is the latest written statement from Australian Maritime Safety Authority: pic.twitter.com/yhTOnrTCji— Daniel Sutton (@danielsutton10) March 20, 2014
Update 3:05 a.m.: Here are the two images of the debris, released and annotated by AMSA (click to enlarge).
On missing #MH370, PM Abbott says AMSA has 'received information based on satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search.'— Karen Barlow (@KJBar) March 20, 2014
PM Abbott says locating these objects will be extremely difficult "It may turn out that they aren't related to the search for flight #MH370"— Karen Barlow (@KJBar) March 20, 2014
PM Abbott described the objects possibly related to the search for #MH370 as being in the "southern Indian Ocean."— Karen Barlow (@KJBar) March 20, 2014
Update 7:37 a.m.: Malaysian officials have weighed in on the news, one saying that searchers were "hopeful but cautious," with regards to the development. "I can confirm we have a new lead,"said Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.