Australia examining material for MH370 links

Australia examining material for MH370 links

Credit: Getty Images

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 17: A Japan Orion aircraft takes off from Pearce Airbase, in Bullsbrook, 35 kms north of Perth to help in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, on April 17, 2014 in Perth, Australia. Twenty-six nations have been involved in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 since it disappeared more than a month ago. The Malaysian Airways aircraft went missing on 8th March 2014 whilst on a flight between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing. (Photo by Greg Pool - Pool/Getty Images)

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by Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY

KREM.com

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 6:12 AM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 23 at 6:53 AM

Authorities are examining unidentified material that has washed ashore in western Australian for any signs of links to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, investigators coordinating the search said Wednesday.

"The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is examining the photographs of the material to determine whether further physical analysis is required and if there is any relevance to the search of missing flight MH370," the Joint Agency Coordination Center said in a brief statement.

The ATSB said it has also provided the photographs to the Malaysian investigation team for further scrutiny. The material, found 190 miles from Perth at Australia's southwestern tip, was not described.

Earlier, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that the search for the flight that went missing on March 8 on a night flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew members aboard would continue no matter what it costs.

The search coordination center said a robotic submarine, the U.S. Navy's Bluefin 21, had scanned more than 80% of the 120-square-mile seabed search zone off the Australian west coast, creating a three-dimensional sonar map of the ocean floor.

Nothing of interest had been found 47 days after the plane vanished.

Defense Minister David Johnston said Australia was consulting with Malaysia, China and the United States on the next phase of the search for the plane. Details on the next phase are likely to be announced next week.

Separately, Malaysia's Defense Minister and Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said in a news conference Wednesday that his country has approved the creation of a new international investigation team that will also be examining the cause of MH370's disappearance as well as looking for ways to make sure similar incidents don't take place again.

Contributing: Associated Press

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