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MH370: Australia examines debris found near Augusta


Australian authorities are examining material washed ashore to determine if it is related to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The debris was found by a member of the public near the town of Augusta, some 190 miles south of Perth.

Images of the debris have been sent to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which is now investigating.

“It’s sufficiently interesting for us to take a look,” an ATSB chief Martin Dolan told CNN.

Martin Dolan said the debris looked like sheet metal with rivets in it, but added: “The more we look at it, the less excited we get.”

The ATSB confirmed it was examining the photographs “to determine whether further physical analysis is required and if there is any relevance to the search of missing flight MH370”.


The images have also been sent to authorities in Malaysia and the ATSB is expected to collect the material later on Wednesday.

The material was metallic and about 8ft long, ABC News reported.

The debris was found by a member of the public near the town of Augusta, some 190 miles south of Perth

The debris was found by a member of the public near the town of Augusta, some 190 miles south of Perth

The Malaysia Airlines aircraft was carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it disappeared in March.

Malaysia is running the investigation into the plane’s disappearance, but search efforts are being led by Australia’s Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre (JACC).

For the past two days, bad weather has prevented planes from taking part in the search about 990 miles north-west of Perth.

The US Navy Bluefin-21 mini-submarine scanning the ocean bed has covered more than 80% of a120 sq mile search area in the southern Indian Ocean, without finding any sign of debris in water.

Up to 10 military aircraft and 12 ships are currently taking part in the hunt. The daily operation, involving some two dozen nations, is already shaping up to be the most expensive in aviation history.

Australia said on Wednesday that it would not abandon the hunt, insisting that the cost of the operation was not a concern.

Australian PM Tony Abbott said if the current underwater search was unsuccessful, a new strategy would begin.

Defense Minister David Johnston has said that sophisticated sonar equipment will probably be used in the next stage.

“The next phase, I think, is that we step up with potentially a more powerful, more capable side-scan sonar to do deeper water,” David Johnston said.

Tony Abbott said the probable impact zone of the airliner was in an area of the sea floor 430 miles long and 50 miles wide.

In a separate development, Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said that his country’s cabinet had approved the formation of an international investigation team to find out what happened to the missing plane.

“The main purpose of the team is to evaluate, investigate and determine the actual cause of the accident so similar accidents could be avoided in the future,” he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

Australia says that it is now consulting with Malaysia, China and the US on the next phase of the search, which is likely to be announced next week.

Tony Abbott said a new search strategy would be put into action if nothing was found in the current seabed search.

“If at the end of that period we find nothing, we are not going to abandon the search, we may well rethink the search, but we will not rest until we have done everything we can to solve this mystery,” he said.

“We owe it to the families of the 239 people on board, we owe it to the hundreds of millions – indeed billions – of people who travel by air to try to get to the bottom of this.”

“The only way we can get to the bottom of this is to keep searching the probable impact zone until we find something or until we have searched it as thoroughly as human ingenuity allows at this time,” Tony Abbott said.

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