MH370 search: Possible debris found on WA beach
Officials in Western Australia are examining debris found washed up on a beach near Augusta that may be linked to missing flight MH370. Nine News.PT1M45S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-374xm 620 349 April 24, 2014
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Debris has washed up on the coast of Western Australia, raising hopes it may be from the missing flight MH370.
The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), which is overseeing the search for the Malaysia Airlines flight that disappeared on March 8, said the debris was being investigated.
The unidentified material washed up on a beach 10 kilometres east of Augusta, in Western Australia.
It was found 10 kilometres east of Augusta, near Margaret River, on the south west coast of WA.
Western Australian police had taken possession of the debris, the JACC said.
"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 JACC said in a statement.
"The ATSB has also provided the photographs to the Malaysian investigation team."
ATSB chief commissioner Martin Dolan played down the find.
"It's sufficiently interesting for us to take a look at the photographs," Mr Dolan told CNN.
"The more we look at it, the less excited we get."
He said the debris appeared to be sheet metal with rivets.
A spokesman for Western Australia police said the debris was found some time on Wednesday afternoon and local police from Busselton had secured the items.
Senior Sergeant Steve Principe at Busselton Police Station told The Busselton-Dunsborough Mail the object in their possession, which had washed up on a beach at Scott River near Augusta, was eight feet (2.43 metres) tall, half a metre wide and was an alloy type of metal.
The object did not have any identifiable writing on it, Senior Sergeant Principe told the Western Australian news outlet.
It was reported that the person who found the object initially kept it for a day or two before taking it to the Busselton Regional Airport for inspection.
The object was then taken to Busselton Police Station on Wednesday.
Malaysian authorities said a report on the items found near Augusta had been received, but there had been no verification of whether they were part of the missing flight.
Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said insights from Jean Paul Troadec, a key expert in the two-year search for wreckage from the 2009 Air France crash, and experience from the 1997 Silk Air crash, would be considered in determining the approach to the next phase of the search.
''When we have to regroup and restrategise, it's a matter of looking at all the data, whether it is satellite, whether it is radar, and that is very important as we chart our next course,'' he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.
''Those are the sort of things we will be looking at in identifying the possibility of other locations, but that will be part and parcel of the whole work in progress.''
Earlier today, the search from the air was suspended due to heavy seas and poor visibility.
Three search planes that had already departed had to be recalled. But the 12 ships involved in the operation continued the search, which was centred around an area almost 1600 kilometres north west of Perth.