Chinese satellite finds object that might be Flight 370 debris near location of earlier image


Saturday, March 22, 2014, 7:14 PM -

China has released a new satellite image of what appears to be a large floating object in the southern Indian Ocean. 

The image was captured four days ago. 

The object was about 124 kilometres from the spot where Australian satellite images also captured objects that could be related to the missing plane. 

Though search crews have turned up nothing in the area, leaders remain cautiously optimistic.

RELATED: Officials attempt to locate possible MH370 debris in the Indian Ocean, clouds and rain limit search visibility

"It is the most promising lead available internationally," said but there are a number of other explanations about what might have been sighted as a result of the satellite imagery." 

The floating object in the Chinese satellite image is about 74-feet by 43-feet, giving some experts cause to question whether the debris came from the missing airplane. 

SEE ALSO: Missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: A timeline of events

"It actually looks too big to be part of the airplane. There's no part of the airplane that's that wide." 

Malaysian authorities say they searched 10,500 square nautical miles Saturday. Three military jets and two civilian jets participated in the search. 

Though the civilian jets don't have radar, authorities are not downplaying their role. 

"It is more likely that a pair of eyes are going to identify something floating in the ocean than much of the technical equipment that's on board the aircraft." 

RELATED: Will crowd sourcing help officials gather clues about missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370?

And with rescue efforts heading into a third week, officials are desperate to find anything that will lead them to the missing plane. 

The search also continues along the northern corridor, with little success. Seven countries (China, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Laos, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan) have reported their nations had no radar sightings of the missing plane.

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