Update as of 7:17 EDT: An Australian aircraft looking for potential debris from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has reported spotting "a grey or green circular object" and "an orange rectangular object," CNN reported Monday, citing the Australian Maritime Search Authority, or AMSA.
Earlier, a statement from Malaysia's ministry of transport, released at 5:30 p.m. local time (5:30 a.m. EDT) noted: "Two orange objects approximately one meter in length and one white colored drum were sighted by search aircraft, but remain unidentified and have not been conclusively linked to MH370," adding that the information had been received from Australian authorities.
The statement added that HMAS Success, a ship involved in the search operations in the southern Indian Ocean, could be expected to send further infornation about the objects "within the next few hours, or by tomorrow morning at the latest."
A Chinese plane crew had spotted debris in the same region of the southern Indian Ocean where search teams and satellites had earlier reported sightings of objects that could potentially belong to the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, reports said Monday, even as the U.S. announced it was dispatching a vessel with the capability to locate a plane's black box.
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Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua said Monday that the crew on a Chinese IL-76 plane reported spotting a white, square-shaped object in the portion of the Indian Ocean, about 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, Australia, and that the information had been conveyed to the AMSA, which is leading the investigation in the area. The U.S. Pacific command also reportedly said that it is sending its black-box locator to the region to be deployed if any debris is found, according to reports.
"This movement is simply a prudent effort to pre-position equipment and trained personnel closer to the search area, so that if debris is found, we will be able to respond as quickly as possible since the battery life of the black box's pinger is limited," Cmdr. Chris Budde, a U.S. Seventh Fleet operations officer, said in a statement, according to Associated Press.
Meanwhile, even as the search continued for the Boeing 777 plane, which went missing on March 8 with 239 people on board, Malaysia Airlines was awarded $110 million by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, its insurer, over MH370’s loss, The Telegraph reported Sunday. And, if international rules are applied to the case of the missing plane, a minimum payment of $173,050.50 should be made per passenger.