As the search for evidence of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane wound down for Monday, Australian officials provided details of new objects spotted in the southern Indian Ocean. The news followed disappointing reports after Chinese aircraft spotted debris that was later determined not to be related to Flight 370.
Speaking in front of the Australian parliament, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said a Royal Australian Air Force P-3 Orion aircraft had located two new objects at about 2:45 p.m. on Monday. The two objects, a circular green or grey object and a rectangular orange one, were seen approximately 1,550 miles (2,500 kilometers) southwest of Perth.
“We don’t know whether any of these objects are from MH370, they could be flotsam,” said Mr. Abbott. “Nevertheless, we are hopeful we can recover these objects and that will take us a step closer to resolving this tragic mystery.” The prime minister referred to the case of the missing aircraft as an “extraordinary” and “baffling” mystery and promised that Australia will do “whatever we reasonably can to find anything that is out there, to see what we can learn about what is so far one of the great mysteries of our time.”
In Malaysia, Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia’s defense minister and acting transport minister, told reporters that that the objects could be located within several hours.
Meanwhile, the search is being hampered by poor weather, with rain, high winds, and poor visibility. Australian officials said that it might have to suspend visual searchers using low-flying aircraft if conditions continue to worsen.