As it happened: MH370 search resumes

Key Points

  • Search efforts for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 resumed on Wednesday following improved weather conditions
  • Malaysia's acting transport minister said 122 "potential objects" had been seen around 2,557km from Perth based on new French satellite images
  • Six countries - Australia, New Zealand, the US, Japan, China and South Korea - are sending aircraft or ships to the search area
  • The Kuala Lumpur-Beijing airliner disappeared on 8 March with 239 people on board
  • The plane is presumed to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean with no survivors
  • All times GMT

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  1.  
    02:47:

    Welcome to our live page on the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which has been resumed after weather conditions in the southern Indian Ocean improved.

     
  2.  
    02:54:

    Twelve aircraft have been tasked with looking for possible debris in the search area, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa) says in a statement. Three search planes have departed so far.

     
  3.  
    03:12:

    Australia has been co-ordinating the search in the southern Indian Ocean since 17 March. On Monday, Chinese and Australian planes reported seeing possible debris. However, search efforts were paused on Tuesday due to adverse weather conditions.

     
  4.  
    03:15:
    File photo: Chinese icebreaker Xuelong berthed in Qingdao port, east China's Shandong province

    The Chinese icebreaker Xuelong (pictured here) has arrived near the point where the Chinese planes reported possible debris on Monday, Xinhua news agency reports.

     
  5.  
    03:24:

    Malaysian officials say it must be assumed that the plane crashed, with no survivors. However, many relatives of the passengers are refusing to give up hope. "We don't know what to do. We don't know who to believe," Daniel Tan, whose brother was on the plane, told the BBC. "What they say is not backed up by proof. It's just based on satellite data."

     
  6.  
    03:37:
    High school students hold candles during a vigil for passengers of the missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370 in Lianyungang, east China's Jiangsu province, 25 March 2014

    Vigils have been held around the world for those on board flight MH370. The BBC's Jennifer Pak went to one vigil in Malaysia, where she spoke to a friend of the plane's captain.

     
  7.  
    03:48:

    Flights are being staggered to maximise time in the search area, the BBC's Phil Mercer in Perth reports. The planes will go up and down their assigned areas, flying in a zigzag pattern, during the search.

     
  8.  
    03:55:
    A Royal Australia Air Force AP-3C Orion takes off from RAAF Base Pearce in Perth, Australia, 26 March 2014

    This Royal Australia Air Force P3 Orion is on its way to the search area, which is around 1,500 miles (2,500km) to the south-west of Australian city Perth. A Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft and a Royal New Zealand Air Force plane have also departed.

     
  9.  
    04:04:

    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says: "We're throwing everything we have at this search... We owe it to the families, we owe it to an anxious world to do everything we can to finally locate some wreckage and to do whatever we can to solve the riddle of this extraordinarily ill-fated flight."

     
  10.  
    04:12:
    File photo: Tony Abbott, 25 March 2014

    On Tuesday, Mr Abbott said that visa fees for relatives of those on the plane would be waived if they wanted to visit Australia, where the search is being co-ordinated. "It's just an unspeakable time for these people and if they want to come to Australia we'll make them welcome."

     
  11.  
    04:21:

    The search could be complicated by a chain of undersea volcanoes that run through the search area, because magma from the volcanoes constantly reshape the sea floor, AFP news agency reports. The underwater floor is "rugged, it's covered in faults, fine-scale gullies and ridges", Robin Beaman, an underwater geology expert, told the agency.

     
  12.  
    04:35:

    Tony Abbott told Australia's parliament he is "confident" that some debris from the plane will be recovered, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

    He also said: "The crash zone is about as close to nowhere as it's possible to be but it's closer to Australia than anywhere else."

     
  13.  
    04:39:
    Chinese relatives of passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 march to protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing on 25 March 2014

    On Tuesday, grieving relatives of the passengers staged a protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing. One of the placards pictured reads "We won't give up - we will wait here".

     
  14.  
    04:44:

    Tuesday's demonstrations were highly unusual in China, where public street protests are illegal. However, correspondents say there are no signs so far of further protests. The BBC's Celia Hatton in Beijing was at Tuesday's demonstrations and sent this report.

     
  15.  
    Xinhua news agency

    tweets: Crew members of Chinese icebreaker Xuelong scan the sea to search for #MH370 pic.twitter.com/2NBXEpoX7J

     
  16.  
    04:56:

    Three Chinese warships have reached their target search area, around 1,100 nautical miles (2,000km) west of Perth, Xinhua news agency reports.

     
  17.  
    04:59:

    Australia's federal parliament has held a moment's silence to honour those on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

     
  18.  
    Australian Maritime Safety Authority

    tweets: Four Chinese ships are now in #MH370 search area with HMAS Success. Five aircraft on scene.

     
  19.  
    05:12:
    A family member, right, of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane is embraced by a member of Special Assistance Team at a hotel in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Tuesday, 25 March 2014

    Some relatives of the passengers are refusing to accept their deaths until concrete evidence is found. How do you mourn a missing person? The BBC's Tanvi Misra seeks answers here.

     
  20.  
    05:20:
    Ahmad Jauhari Yahya

    Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya spoke with the BBC's Alastair Leithead on Tuesday. When asked if he was standing down from his post, he said it was "a personal decision" that he would consider "later". "We have things to do now," he said. Watch his interview here.

     
  21.  
    05:27:

    Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya described the pilot and co-pilot's records as "quite exemplary". When asked if the pilot flew the Malaysia Airlines plane into the ocean, he said: "We don't know."

     
  22.  
    05:35:

    To recap: A multinational search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane is now focused on a remote area of ocean some 1,500 miles (2,500km) to the south-west of the Australian city of Perth.

     
  23.  
    05:46:

    Attention has focused on pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah and his co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid following the plane's disappearance.

    Mr Shah, a veteran pilot, joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981 and logged 18,000 hours of flying experience. Mr Hamid joined Malaysia Airlines in 2007 at the age of 20, but only recently began co-piloting the Boeing 777.

    Read more about them here.

     
  24.  
    05:56:

    Chinese officials on Tuesday urged Malaysia to provide "detailed and accurate" information about the missing plane, Xinhua news agency said. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Malaysia should continue the co-ordination of international search efforts. Most of the passengers on the missing plane were Chinese nationals.

     
  25.  
    06:14:
    A member of staff at satellite communications company Inmarsat works in front of a screen showing subscribers using their service throughout the world, at their headquarters in London 25 March 2014

    How did officials narrow the search area for the missing plane? British firm Inmarsat's Chris McLaughlin told the BBC that they studied electronic "pings" or "handshakes" sent from the plane. Watch his interview here.

    The BBC's science correspondent, Jonathan Amos, has more detail here.

     
  26.  
    06:18:

    The BBC's John Sudworth in Beijing says a briefing of the families of passengers on board the missing plane is due to begin soon.

     
  27.  
    06:27:

    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott called for a moment of silence in parliament earlier on Wednesday for the passengers on the missing plane. He said: "Madam Speaker we mourn all those 239 passengers and crew. We especially mourn the six Australian citizens and one Australian resident that must be assumed dead and we grieve with their families and their loved-ones."

     
  28.  
    06:33: Australian Maritime Safety Authority

    tweets: Seven aircraft now in #MH370 search area. Another four aircraft en route.

     
  29.  
    06:46:

    China has sent a special envoy, Zhang Yesui, to Malaysia. Mr Zhang has met Malaysian PM Najib Razak to discuss handling of the missing plane, Xinhua news agency reports.

     
  30.  
    06:56:

    Many relatives of those on the plane feel torn about the search. "We want to know the truth, but we are afraid the debris of the plane should be found," Wang Chunjiang, whose brother was on the plane, said. "If they find debris, then our last hope would be dashed."

     
  31.  
    07:07:
    Royal Air Force Sergeant Steve Barnes looks out of an observation window on a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) AP-3C Orion, 26 March 2014

    To recap: A total of 12 planes are being sent to the southern Indian Ocean to search for possible debris from flight MH370.

     
  32.  
    07:15:

    Search teams will want to make the most of Wednesday's good weather. On Thursday, conditions in the search area are expected to deteriorate again, with a cold front bringing thunderstorms and strong winds.

     
  33.  
    07:23: Jonathan Head BBC News, Pearce air base

    The United States navy has flown in specialist underwater detection equipment, which will be used to try to locate the flight recorders - but that can only happen when the wreckage of the Boeing airliner is found, and it will still be several days before the ship carrying these detectors reaches the search zone.

     
  34.  
    07:30:
    Chinese relatives of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, flight MH370, shout in protest as they march towards the Malaysia embassy in Beijing, China, 25 March 2014

    Chinese media are playing down the families' protest outside the Malaysian embassy on Tuesday, with one major daily carrying no news of the protest at all. They are also criticising Malaysia's handling of the crisis, with one newspaper describing the authorities as "unprofessional and passive". Read more from our China media round up here.

     
  35.  
    07:51:

    Little is known about the topography of the seabed in the search area, David Ferreira, an oceanographer at the UK's University of Reading, says. "We know much more about the surface of the moon than we do about the ocean floor in that part of the Indian Ocean."

     
  36.  
    07:56:

    This chart from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority shows the cumulative areas searched for debris in the southern Indian Ocean.

     
  37.  
    08:07:

    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has vowed to solve the "riddle" surrounding the disappearance of flight MH370. You can watch a clip of him speaking on Australian television here.

     
  38.  
    08:16:
    A South Korean Air Force (ROKAF) P-3 Orion takes off from RAAF Pearce air base March 26, 2014,

    South Korea is one of the countries contributing planes to Wednesday's search. This South Korean Air Force P-3 Orion has left RAAF Pearce air base and is on its way to the search area.

     
  39.  
    08:24:

    Australian authorities say this maritime surveillance operation is one of the biggest ever seen, the BBC's Phil Mercer reports. He sent this report from the Pearce air base near Perth.

     
  40.  
    08:38:
    Steven Wang (right) speaks to the BBC's John Sudworth in Beijing, 26 March 2014

    The family members of the passengers on the plane are being given a technical briefing at the Lido hotel in Beijing. The BBC's John Sudworth interviewed Steven Wang, a representative of the "family members' committee", before the briefing started.

    Mr Wang said he would listen to the briefing, but that he thought "they will lie again". None of the family members had plans to travel to Perth yet, he added. "Nobody told us we could go to Australia."

     
  41.  
    08:33: Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia

    tweets: Had a meeting w/ PRC's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Zhang Yesui at Parliament earlier today #MH370

     
  42.  
    08:55:
    Daniel Tan

    Waiting for news has been hard on the relatives of passengers on the missing plane. Daniel Tan tells the BBC's Alastair Leithead that the ordeal had been the worst two weeks of his life. Watch his interview here.

     
  43.  
    09:11:

    The BBC's John Sudworth in Beijing says there have been complaints from relatives of passengers on the missing plane about the support being offered by Malaysia Airlines. He said: "A recent message posted on the families' official internet blog suggests there are problems contacting the hundreds of volunteers and caregivers reportedly sent to Beijing. 'Are they all lost too,' the message asks."

     
  44.  
    AllInfographics

    tweets: The Internet's Search for MH370, Visualized [Infographic]

     
  45.  
    The Times of India

    says: Malaysian flight MH370 passenger Chandrika Sharma's husband writes - "I feel comforted, energised and renewed by messages of solidarity".

     
  46.  
    09:31:

    China's special envoy to Malaysia, Zhang Yesui, has called for "unremitting efforts" over the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, Reuters news agency says, citing Chinese state media. Mr Zhang met Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency says.

     
  47.  
    09:38:

    The regular press briefing on the missing Malaysia Airlines plane is underway.

     
  48.  
    09:40:

    Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says they have received new satellite images.

     
  49.  
    09:43:

    Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says the Chinese ship Xue Long has been deployed to the "east sector" of the search area.

     
  50.  
    09:44:

    Satellite images from France show 122 objects in the waters of the southern Indian Ocean near the search zone, acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says. One object is up to 23m in length, he added.

     
  51.  
    09:46:

    However, we cannot tell if the objects spotted are from MH370, Hishammuddin Hussein said.

     
  52.  
    09:47:

    The 122 objects were located around 2557km from Perth, Malaysia's acting transport minister said.

     
  53.  
    09:48:

    The satellite images from France were taken on 23 March, the minister said.

     
  54.  
    09:49:

    Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says Malaysian officials have met with the special Chinese envoy on Wednesday. The envoy also received a comprehensive update from the international technical team, he adds.

     
  55.  
    09:50:

    From the media briefing: The search area has now been divided into two areas.

     
  56.  
    09:52:

    Hishammuddin Hussein said: "It must be emphasised that we cannot tell whether the potential objects are from MH370. Nevertheless, this is another new lead that will help direct the search operation."

     
  57.  
    09:53:

    "We have now had four separate satellite leads, from Australia, China and France, showing possible debris. It is now imperative that we link the debris to MH370. This will enable us to further reduce the search area, and locate more debris from the plane," he added.

     
  58.  
    09:57:

    From the media briefing by Hishammuddin Hussein : Of the "122 potential objects", some were 1m in length, "others were as much as 23m in length". "Some of the objects appeared to be bright, possibly indicating solid materials."

     
  59.  
    09:57:

    From the media briefing: "Australia has divided the search area into two sectors, East and West."

     
  60.  
    10:07:

    To recap: Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said 122 "potential objects" had been seen around 2,557km from Perth based on new French satellite images. He called it a new lead but said investigators did not know whether it was linked to the missing plane.

     
  61.  
    Australian Maritime Safety Authority

    tweets: 3 objects spotted in #MH370 search. Civil a/craft spotted 2 objects-likely rope. NZ P3K-a blue object. None relocated on further passes.1/2

     
  62.  
    Australian Maritime Safety Authority

    tweets: None distinctive of #MH370 or satellite imagery. 2/2

     
  63.  
    10:25:

    Investigators are narrowing the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which is unfolding in one of the most remote ocean regions on Earth. More about the international search effort here.

     
  64.  
    10:34:
    This 24 March 2014 US Navy handout image shows naval aviators assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 16, piloting a P-8A Poseidon over the Indian Ocean during a mission to assist in search and rescue operations for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

    Malaysia's acting transport minister said that Australia has divided the search area in the southern Indian Ocean into two sectors. A P8 Poseidon from the US is among those conducting the search in the west sector, Hishammuddin Hussein says.

     
  65.  
    Reporter for Channel NewsAsia, Jackson Board

    tweets: Cracking sunset at Pearce Air Force Base. Waiting for aircraft to slowly start arriving back from ocean search #MH370 pic.twitter.com/dofemyK80I

     
  66.  
    10:58:

    To recap: Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said during a media briefing earlier that 12 planes and two ships will be travelling to the search area in the southern Indian Ocean. He also said that Malaysia Airlines was "now taking a lead in communicating with the families and is conducting their own press conferences".

     
  67.  
    10:59:

    Malaysia's acting transport minister also said the "investigation into what happened on board the flight is now a truly international effort".

     
  68.  
    11:05:
    Malaysian Minister of Defence and acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein shows pictures of possible debris during his statement on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at the Putra World Trade Center (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur on 26 March 2014

    To recap: Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said during the media briefing earlier: "It must be emphasised that we cannot tell whether the potential objects are from MH370. Nevertheless, this is another new lead that will help direct the search operation."

     
  69.  
    11:18:

    Earlier, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott vowed to solve the "riddle" surrounding the missing plane. Watch his interview here.

     
  70.  
    AFP Photo Department

    tweets: #MH370 - A relative of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 speaks to the media in Beijing pic.twitter.com/pGlHSKaqI1

     
  71.  
    11:27:

    As the search for the missing plane continues, some key questions still remain unanswered. Why did the plane make a sharp left turn? Is a hijack scenario even possible? The BBC's Vanessa Barford outlines different scenarios in this article.

     
  72.  
    11:38:

    The BBC's John Sudworth in Beijing says that relatives of passengers on the missing plane still want physical evidence or they will not accept that the plane is lost.

     
  73.  
    11:44:
    A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) AP-3C Orion takes off from RAAF base Pearce to search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 over the southern Indian Ocean, 26 March 2014
    Two Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft used in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are seen on the tarmac of Perth International Airport, 26 March  2014

    Some of the aircraft involved in the search efforts include an Australian P3 Orion, above, and the Chinese Ilyushin Il-76, below.

     
  74.  
    11:55:

    To recap: Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared on 8 March with 239 people on board. Most the passengers were Chinese. Malaysia Airlines says the plane lost contact less than an hour after takeoff, without sending a distress signal or message.

     
  75.  
    Breaking News Australian Maritime Safety Authority

    tweets: Final aircraft has left the #MH370 search area. Nothing further identified after initial sighting of three objects. 1/2

     
  76.  
    Breaking News Australian Maritime Safety Authority

    tweets: Positions in the Malaysia Remote Sensing Agency satellite information tweeted on 26 March were within today's #MH370 search area. 2/2

     
  77.  
    12:18:

    To recap: On 24 March, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that following further analysis of satellite data, it was beyond doubt that the plane had gone down in an area of the southern Indian Ocean.

     
  78.  
    Bloomberg News

    tweets: Malaysian Air, Boeing data on #MH370 sought in U.S. court

     
  79.  
    Helen, UK,

    emails: Sad ending as this may be, I doubt that any real explanations will be found. If the plane is in the Indian Ocean, then the pilots are with it and they are the only ones who have the real answers.

     
  80.  
    @diyy_yanaa in Malaysia

    tweets: Flags placed half way down the pole for mh370 remembrance

     
  81.  
    Daughter of MH370 chief steward

    tweets: I received love from almost the whole world. I'm so touched. I don't know how to thank all of you. Supports, prayers..., God bless you all.

     
  82.  
    12:42:
    A satellite image of potential debris from flight MH370

    This is one of the new satellite images that Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein referred to in his statement earlier. The BBC's World Affairs Correspondent Paul Adams reports from Kuala Lumpur: "They were taken by a French satellite two days ago and show 122 objects, 1-23m across, some of them bright, floating in the ocean more than 2,500 miles south west of Perth - in other words, not far from the locations of previous sightings. The acting minister, Hishammudin Hussein, said it was too early to know if the objects were connected with the disappearance of MH370."

     
  83.  
    James Matthews Sky News reporter

    tweets: Just off Australian plane searching for #MH370. Covered 900 square miles but crew spotted only killer whale and dolphins.

     
  84.  
    Co-founder/attorney at Wasch Law LLP, @aviationlitig8r

    tweets: Giving $5,000 as initial payment to #MH370 families is insulting and poorly handled by Malaysia Airlines and insurers. Should be ~$50K.

     
  85.  
    13:02:

    At the press conference on Wednesday, Malaysia's acting transport minister, Hishammudin Hussein, was also questioned about the accusation - levelled in China by angry relatives of the passengers - that his country's authorities were hiding the truth.

    In response, he said that history would judge Malaysia well. Not many countries, he said, could get 26 nations to collaborate as well as they have so far.

     
  86.  
    13:03:

    Lawyers in the US representing families of some of the passengers on board MH370 are taking steps to begin legal action against Boeing and Malaysia Airlines. They allege that the plane crashed due to mechanical failure and have filed a petition to try to secure evidence of possible design and manufacturing defects.

    One of the lawyers involved told reporters: "Our theory of the case is that there was a failure of the equipment in the cockpit that may have caused a fire that rendered the crew unconscious, or perhaps because of the defects in the fuselage which had been reported before there was some loss in the cabin pressure that also made the pilot and co-pilot unconscious."

     
  87.  
    ljayke

    tweets: Trust a #usa law firm 2 start legal action #MalaysiaAirlines #MH370 Could @ least wait for family's 2 grieve & investigators 2 do their job

     
  88.  
    13:25:
    A Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion returns to base after a search flight

    A Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion returns to RAAF Base Pearce from a search flight over the Indian Ocean on Wednesday.

     
  89.  
    @misswowwa in Malaysia

    tweets: Just watched China 24, the Chinese family members claim that Malaysian government hide the truth about missing plane #MH370

     
  90.  
    13:52:

    The search operation could be hampered again on Thursday with Australia's Bureau of Meteorology warning that the weather is expected to deteriorate, with thunderstorms, low clouds and strong winds forecast over the search area.

     
  91.  
    13:58:

    An aviation expert has described the search for MH370 as "the most complex, the most difficult in aviation history".

    "The weather in this part of the world is far more difficult than that experienced in the search for [Air France flight] 447," Geoffrey Thomas, publisher of airlineratings.com, told AP.

    He said huge swells were common, particularly in winter. "There's a real urgency to find something as quickly as possible because through the winter months, they'll probably have to suspend the search."

     
  92.  
    14:09:

    Speculation over the fate of the aircraft has continued since the Malaysian announcement on Monday that it was certain to have gone down in the Indian Ocean. British newspaper The Daily Telegraph carries a report of an "unexplained final ping," sent by the aircraft to the ground.

    Thomas Withington, a defence electronics analyst, told the paper: "It sounds like the aircraft began to squawk a message and for some reason this was curtailed. It could be because the aircraft was at a catastrophic phase of its flight — that something was causing it to crash — or there could be some atmospheric disturbance."

    British firm Inmarsat's Chris McLaughlin explained to the BBC how they studied the electronic "pings" or "handshakes" sent from the plane. Watch his interview here.

    The BBC's science correspondent, Jonathan Amos, has more detail here.

     
  93.  
    14:15:

    We're now wrapping up our live coverage of the search for flight MH370. You can read about the latest developments in this and other world stories on the main BBC News page. Thank you for following us.

     

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