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DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Thai satellite spots 300 objects in jet search
by Staff Writers
Bangkok (AFP) March 27, 2014


Thai satellite images have shown 300 floating objects in the southern Indian Ocean during a search for the missing Malaysian airliner, an official said Thursday.

The objects, ranging from two to 15 metres (6.5 to 50 feet) in size, were scattered over an area about 2,700 kilometres (1,680 miles) southwest of Perth, according to the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency.

"But we cannot -- dare not -- confirm they are debris from the plane," the agency's executive director, Anond Snidvongs, told AFP.

He said the information had been given to Malaysia.

The pictures were taken by Thailand's only earth observation satellite on Monday but needed several days to process, Anond added.

He said the objects were spotted about 200 kilometres away from an area where French satellite images earlier showed potential objects in the search for the Boeing 777 which vanished on March 8 with 239 people aboard.

Thailand faced criticism after announcing more than a week after the jet's disappearance that its radar had picked up an "unknown aircraft" minutes after flight MH370 last transmitted its location.

The Thai air force said it did not report the findings earlier as the plane was not considered a threat.

The Malaysia Airlines plane is presumed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean after mysteriously diverting from its Kuala Lumpur-Beijing path and apparently flying for hours in the opposite direction.

Thunderstorms and gale-force winds grounded the international air search for wreckage on Thursday.

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