Australia Investigates Possible Debris From Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Debris spotted by satellite

Last Updated: August 4, 2014 @ 10:52 AM

Australia is leading the effort to identify debris in the southern Indian Ocean to determine if it is from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott (pictured in file photo) told his Parliament Thursday that it is unclear if the debris, spotted by satellite, is part of the flight that disappeared March 8 while traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard.

Also read: 5 Latest Developments on Missing Malaysia Flight: From Deleted Flight Data to Potential Fire Aboard (Video)

The Wall Street Journal reported that a Norwegian ship enlisted to assist in the search, the St. Petersburg, has reached the area southwest of Australia where the debris was sighted. Four military search planes were also dispatched Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said in a news conference that the satellite images, “while credible, still must be confirmed,” according to the AP.

Also read: 6 Craziest Malaysia Flight Conspiracy Theories – From Alien Abductions to Courtney Love’s Reasoning (Video)

One aviation analyst told the AP that the debris is likely not from the flight.

“The chances of it being debris from the airplane are probably small, and the chances of it being debris from other shipping are probably large,” said Jason Middleton, an aviation professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

The search was called off Thursday after the sun set and was expected to resume Friday morning local time.

The mystery of what happened to the flight has dominated news coverage around the globe, including in the U.S., where it has transfixed cable news networks. The most frequent theories range from hijacking to terrorists downing the plane, though many wilder ones have surfaced.