Flight MH370: ‘Objects spotted’ in new search area

A plane has spotted “objects” in the new area of the Indian Ocean being searched for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, Australian officials say.

The sightings would need confirmation by ship, which is not expected until tomorrow, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa) said.

Earlier it was announced the search would now focus on an area 1,100km (700 miles) north-east of the previous zone.

The Beijing-bound airliner disappeared on 8 March with 239 people on board.

The identity of the objects – spotted by a Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion – were “to be established”, Amsa said.

The crew say they spotted 11 unidentified objects, the BBC’s Phil Mercer reports from the western Australian city of Perth.

The images hold out the prospect of up-to-date information, as opposed to satellite images which are invariably days out of date by the time they are seen by investigators, our correspondent adds.

Earlier the Australian and Malaysian governments said the focus on the new search area was based on further analysis of radar data that showed the plane was going faster, thus using more fuel.