UPDATES FROM THE #MH370
PRESS CONFERENCE AT KLIA
20 March 2014, 5:30PM
By the Acting Minister of Transport Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein
* DS Hishammuddin: At 10am, Malaysian Prime Minister DS Najib received a call from the Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott. Two possible objects related to MH370 have been identified at the Southern Indian Ocean
* DS Hishammuddin: Australian Maritime & New Zealand air force and US navy continue search in Australian search area. The images were captured by satellite, and may not be related to MH370. AMSA's Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) Australia has received satellite imagery of objects possibly related to MH370 with assistance from Australian Defence Force, New Zealand Air Force, and the US Navy. Australian Maritime & New Zealand Air Force and US Navy continue to search in the Australian search area.
* DS Hishammuddin: 2 aircrafts have been reorientated towards that area (where satellite images of two objects were detected)
* DS Hishammuddin: These sightings while credible it is still to be confirmed.
* DS Hishammuddin: As the focus moved to Northern and Southern corridors, international partners continue to support whatever they can
* DS Hishammuddin: 21 satellites by China to search areas within its borders.
* DS Hishamuddin: RCC Australia received expert assessment of commercial satellite imagery today.
* Assessment provided by Australian Geospatial Intelligence Organisation as a possible indication of debris southwest of Perth. As a result of this information, 4 aircrafts have been re-orientated to an area 2,500 kilometres southwest of Perth. A Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orion aircraft arrived in the area at about 1050AM
* Another 3 aircrafts have been tasked by RCC Australia to the area, including a second RAAF Orion, a Royal NZAF Orion & USNavy P8 Poseidon. Poseidon was expected to arrive early noon. The second RAAF Orion was expected to depart RAAF Base Pearce Perth, mid-noon. The New Zealand Orion was due to depart this afternoon. An RAAF C-130 Hercules aircraft has been tasked by RCC Australia to drop datum marker buoys to assist in drift modelling. They will provide an ongoing reference point if the task of relocating the objects becomes protracted.
* Merchant ship responded to shipping broadcast issued by RCC Australia on Monday - expected to arrive in the area this noon. The Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Success is en route to the area but is some days away. The HMAS Success is well equipped to recover any objects located and proven to be from MH370
* DS Hishammuddin: The high level team (announced yesterday) leaving for Beijing this evening. Search planes are being sent as far north-west as Kazakhstan. Until we are certain that we have found the missing plane, the search continues.
* DS Hishammuddin: We have not de-intensified our search efforts. We are intensifying the search at the search area with the latest leads. As of today, I can only inform you on a daily basis, credible lead that has been verified and corroborated. At least there is a credible lead, that gives us hope. As long as there is hope, we will continue.
* DS Hishammuddin: The satellite imagery must be corroborated, Malaysian authorities had learnt this from satellite images mistakenly released by China which later turned out to be a false lead. Every effort is being made to locate the objects seen in the satellite imagery. It must be stressed that these sightings, while credible, are still to be confirmed.
* During the course of operation, Chief of Defence Force spoke to his counterparts from countries including Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Maldives, Nepal, NZ, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, UK & USA. All were very supportive and all offered their assistance.
* DS Hishammuddin: 18 ships, 29 aircrafts and 6 ship-borne helicopters deployed along the northern and southern corridors
* DS Hishammuddin: If we can confirm the debris identified (via satellite) this morning, the next step is to find the black box. We are preparing for possible multinational cooperation to locate the black box.
* DS Hishammuddin: There has been no hesitation from any of our partners in sharing their satellite images
* Until we are certain that we have located #MH370, SAR operations will continue in both corridors. #PrayForMH370