Updated: 03/23/2014 21:19 | By Agence France-Presse

Malaysia says French satellite detects debris in plane search area

Malaysia said Sunday it had received new satellite data from France indicating floating objects in the search area for a missing Malaysian jet in the southern Indian Ocean.


The Transport Ministry said the information had been passed on to Australian authorities who are coordinating the search for the plane, now focused on a remote stretch of ocean 2,500 kilometres (1,562 miles) southwest of Perth.

The ministry said the latest data came in the form of images but France's foreign ministry later clarified this, saying it came in the form of "satellite-generated radar echoes".

A radar echo is an electronic signal that contains information about the location and distance of the object which bounces the signal back.

According to the French statement, the debris was floating around 2,300 kilometres from Perth.

It said France would increase its satellite capacity to continue the search in the zone.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard.

Malaysia, which later revealed the plane turned back over the Malaysian peninsula after losing contact, has enlisted 25 other countries to help hunt for the plane.

Efforts in recent days have focused on the coast off Australia after previous satellite images of large objects there were released, and a plane spotted a wooden cargo pallet, along with some belts or straps.

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