The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 entered its fourth week amid reports of a fresh sighting of potential debris.
Chinese authorities say they spotted three suspicious objects on Saturday after the search area was pushed some 1,100 kilometres north.
Australian authorities moved the location when new data analysis concluded the plane travelled faster and for a shorter distance after vanishing.
Shortly afterwards, an Air New Zealand plane reported seeing light-coloured objects and a fishing buoy. Further investigation by an Australian aircraft and other planes revealed two rectangular objects.
“Yeah, it certainly sounds like we’re getting into an area of interest. Obviously we don’t know if these (objects) are associated with the aircraft (MH370) yet but it certainly looks like we are seeing a lot more debris and just general flotsam in the water so we could be on to something here,” said Flight Lieutenant Jamin Baker of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
Investigators won’t know if the objects spotted are connected to the missing jet until ships are able to recover them.
But, Malaysia’s Acting Transport Minister, Hishamuddin Hussein, urged people not to give up hope.
“No matter how remote, hope against hope, please we will continue to find survivors,” he told members of the press. “And I’ve said that from the beginning that no matter how remote, I’m always hoping against hope and I’m praying.”
Although no trace of the plane has yet been found some, such as Selamat Omar, whose son is one of the missing passengers, are clinging onto the hope that no news might be good news.
“There’s still hope. He didn’t say all the passengers are dead,” he said of Acting Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein.
Meanwhile, in Beijing on Saturday Chinese family members of passengers on the missing plane held a small protest against the Malaysian government. They are demanding concrete evidence that the plane has crashed into the southern Indian Ocean.