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Flight MH370: Debris in Indian Ocean seen is wooden pallet, possible plane wing

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The MH370 debris spotted in the Indian Ocean on Saturday, including a wooden pallet surrounded by what appeared to be strapping belts of different colors and lengths, still has to be confirmed to be of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, said Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Sunday. Unfortunately, as Fox News reports on March 23, 2014, “Malaysia Airlines did not immediately confirm whether pallets were on board Flight 370.”

Mike Barton, chief of Australian Maritime Safety Authority's (AMSA) rescue coordination center, told reporters in Canberra, Australia, that the wooden pallet “was surrounded by several other objects, including what appeared to be strapping belts of different colors.”

The debris in the Indian Ocean was seen by a civilian search plane on Saturday in a remote part of the southern Indian Ocean, but when a New Zealand P3 Orion military plane returned to the location to find it again, the debris could not be spotted in the rough waters. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that "obviously before we can be too specific about what it might be, we need to recover this material. It's still too early to be definite.”

In regard to the new satellite imagery released on Saturday by China, The Telegraph reports that Dr. John Blaxland, a senior fellow from the Australian National University (ANU) Strategic and Defense Studies Center, told the Chinese state news agency Xinhua that if the measures of the satellite images – 22 meters long and 13 meters (about 72 feet long and 43 feet wide) – are correct, they could be “consistent with a wing of a Boeing 777 airliner.”

While the potential MH370 debris in the Indian Ocean is subject to the sea’s unpredictable rough waters, it is hard to understand why Malaysia Airlines and the Malaysian government are not publicizing the specific contents that were on the Boeing 777. Shouldn’t the ships and eight planes that have been deployed from a military base in western Australia be informed of what was specifically on board Flight MH370?

Update: On Sunday, Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport said in a statement that in addition to Australia’s visual reports and China’s satellite images, it also received images from French authorities “that could be debris” in the Indian Ocean from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The images provided by France were in the vicinity of the other images, but no details have been provided yet. Malaysia's acting transport minister is relaying the images to the Australian rescue coordination center to help in the search for the missing Malaysian Flight MH370.

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