Objects recovered from new search area found to be unrelated to Boeing 777

The three-week search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 failed to make a breakthrough on Saturday as operations in a new search area in the southern Indian Ocean continued for a second straight day.

A day after potential debris was identified in aircraft images, objects recovered from the new search area, which had been shifted around 1,000 km north on Friday, were found to be unrelated to the missing Boeing 777.

Saturday’s search, however, brought fresh sightings of possible debris off the western coast of Australia, which had been moved based on analysis of satellite data.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which has been coordinating search efforts, said a Chinese air force Ilyushin-76 had spotted three objects, while an Australian air force P3 Orion had also reported sighting multiple objects.

The AMSA cautioned that as was the case on Friday, objects could not be confirmed to be debris from the aircraft until recovered by ships.

Saturday marked yet another day of fresh leads but false hopes in the hunt for MH370: expectations raised by Friday’s new sightings in the shifted search area had been dashed after China’s Haiuxun 01 vessel and the Australian HMAS Success recovered objects unrelated to the aircraft. The twists and turns have left relatives of the 239 people on board anguished as they wait for any concrete information.

Around two dozen relatives of the Chinese passengers on board called for evidence about the plane’s fate.

Many relatives here have expressed frustration and anger at the absence of any information, staging a protest march to the Malaysian Embassy earlier this week, even as the Malaysian authorities grapple with an unprecedented multi-nation search over some of the world’s most remote waters, and also take forward a challenging investigation into what has been seen by experts as an aviation mystery without parallel.

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