Debris isn't from missing flight MH370

08:14, Apr 24 2014
Debris not from MH370
UNIDENTIFIED DEBRIS: This item which washed ashore on a Western Australian beach has been ruled out as being debris from missing flight MH370.

The debris found on a beach in Western Australia is not connected to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau says.

ATSB spokesman Martin Dolan told ABC radio today he was satisfied it was not from the plane.

But while the bureau has said the item was not part of the doomed aircraft, few details about what the debris actually is have surfaced.

The item was found washed up on a beach 10 kilometres east of Augusta, near Margaret River, on the south-west coast of Western Australia.

"We've carefully examined detailed photographs that were taken for us by the police and we're satisfied that it's not a lead in the search for MH370," Dolan said.

"From our point of view, we're ruling it out. We'll get some further details just to be sure but at this stage we're not seeing anything in this that would lead us to believe that it comes from a Boeing aircraft."

On Wednesday, Dolan told CNN: "It's sufficiently interesting for us to take a look at the photographs.

"The more we look at it, the less excited we get."

He said the debris appeared to be sheet metal with rivets.

The Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre (JACC), which is overseeing the search for the plane that disappeared on March 8, said on Wednesday that Western Australian police had taken possession of the debris.

It was reported that the person who found the object initially kept it for a day or two before taking it to the Busselton Regional Airport for inspection.

The object was taken to Busselton Police Station on Wednesday.

Senior Sergeant Steve Principe at Busselton Police Station told The Busselton-Dunsborough Mail the object was about 2.4 metres high, half a metre wide and was of an alloy type of metal.

The object did not have any identifiable writing on it, Senior Sergeant Principe told the news outlet.

"The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is examining the photographs of the material to determine whether further physical analysis is required and if there is any relevance to the search of missing flight MH370," the JACC said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The ATSB has also provided the photographs to the Malaysian investigation team."

Malaysian authorities said on Wednesday that a report on the items found near Augusta had been received, but there had been no verification of whether they were part of the missing flight.

Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said insights from Jean Paul Troadec, a key expert in the two-year search for wreckage from the 2009 Air France crash, and experience from the 1997 Silk Air crash, would be considered in determining the approach to the next phase of the search.

''When we have to regroup and restrategise, it's a matter of looking at all the data, whether it is satellite, whether it is radar, and that is very important as we chart our next course,'' he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

''Those are the sort of things we will be looking at in identifying the possibility of other locations, but that will be part and parcel of the whole work in progress.''

Up to 11 military aircraft and 11 ships are planned to assist in the continued search effort on Thursday.

Rough seas and poor visibility may hamper the search.

Before any of the aircraft take off, an assessment of current weather conditions will be made as ex-tropical cyclone Jack moves south.

The day's visual search area totals approximately 49,567 square kilometres.

The centre of the search area lies approximately 1584 kilometres north-west of Perth.

The autonomous under water vehicle, Bluefin-21 AUV, is completing mission 12 in the underwater search area.

It has now completed more than 90 per cent of the focused underwater search area and no contacts of interest have been found.


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