Perth/Kuala Lumpur: Suspected floating debris of the Malaysian jet may have sunk in a remote part of southern Indian Ocean as a multination team failed to spot them, dashing hopes of a breakthrough in locating the aircraft which mysteriously disappeared two weeks ago.
Five surveillance aircraft and a ship deployed to trace the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 with 239 people on board after two large objects were seen in satellite imagery nearly 2,500 kilometres southwest of Perth, scoured the area but found nothing.
"It's about the most inaccessible spot that you can imagine on the face of the earth, but if there is anything down there, we will find it," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in Papua New Guinea, where he is on a visit.
"Now it could just be a container that's fallen off a ship. We just don't know, but we owe it to the families, and the friends and the loved ones to do everything we can to try to resolve what is as yet an extraordinary riddle," he said.
Debris' spotted: The debris was spotted on satellite imagery and a total of four aircraft have been sent to investigate the sighting, some 2,500 km off the coast of Perth.
The Beijing-bound Boeing 777-200 went missing on March 8 off the Malaysian coast with 239 people on board, including five Indians and one Indian-Canadian. Since then, investigators have been probing sabotage, hijack, terrorism and other angles that led to the disappearance of the plane but are yet to come across any tangible clues to help resolve one of the most baffling mysteries in modern aviation.
"The last report I have is that nothing of particular significance has been identified in the search today but the work will continue," Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said.
Truss said the search was difficult due to testing weather conditions and because the satellite imagery was five days old.
"So something that was floating on the sea that long ago may no longer be floating - it may have slipped to the bottom. It's also certain that any debris or other material would have moved a significant distance over that time, potentially hundreds of kilometers," he said.
Search teams involving 26 countries are trying to locate the airliner, which went missing an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur. Two large objects - measuring 24 metres and 5 metres in length - seen floating in southern Indian Ocean were considered the "best lead" so far, triggering a huge hunt yesterday.