Will These Chinese Satellite Images Help Find the Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight?

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According to multiple reports, Chinese satellites have isolated images of what appears to be three pieces of debris floating in the water near where Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing. The images, released Wednesday afternoon, reportedly come from the Chinese State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense and are dated Sunday, March 9th. As the Guardian reports, their location is near the projected flight path for the missing jet. 

Like earlier reports of oil streaks in the water just after the crash and a number of other promising leads spotted by search and rescue teams, the images could turn out to be unrelated to the crash. But for now, some experts seem cautiously optimistic about the very grainy images after days of international search efforts turned up virtually nothing in the way of information on what happened to the flight and its 239 passengers. 

The images show what appears to be debris in the South China Sea. If they do indeed depict the crash of flight 370, their location contradicts the latest information from the Malaysia-led international investigation into the aircraft's disappearance: Officials focused their latest attempts to find the plane on information suggesting that it may have changed course and veered off its projected path.

China has been increasingly critical of Malaysia's search efforts in the wake of the plane's disappearance. Over 150 of the passengers on the plane are from China. In a statement, Qin Gang, a spokesman for China's foreign ministry. said he wanted "Malaysia to work harder and speed up efforts on behalf of the families." 

Based on the longitude and latitude coordinates provided by CNN, here's where the debris was found: 



This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.