KUALA LUMPUR & CANBERRA (AP, CNN, MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- Australia's prime minister says objects possibly related to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight have been spotted on satellite imagery. According to the Associated Press, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told the Australian Parliament that "2 objects in search for Malaysian jet may have been found." The objects have been spotted in the south Indian Ocean, west of Perth, Australia.
An Australian maritime search official says the largest object he's seen in satellite imagery has been judged to be about 24 meters in size. John Young, General Manager of Emergency Response for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, described the object as "a blob" on the satellite image.
"If that piece of the plane is that big maybe it's the tail section" said David Gallo, who co-led the search for Air France Flight 447 which crashed in 2009.
The announcement raises hopes of finding parts of the plane after a huge search that is now in its 13th day. Previous reports of debris found in the sea have not turned out to be related to the passenger jet, which vanished over Southeast Asia earlier this month.
"There have been so many false leads and so many starts and changes and then backtracking in the investigation," Mary Schiavo, a CNN aviation analyst and former inspector general for the U.S. Department of Transportation, said. "He wouldn't have come forward and said if they weren't fairly certain."
Malaysian Navy has six navy ships with three helicopters heading to the southern Indian Ocean to take part in the search, a Malaysian government source said.
According to BNOWire.com, here is Abbott's full statement to Parliament: "I would like to inform the House that new and credible information has come to light in relation to the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean. The Australian maritime safety authority has received information based on satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search. Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified. I can inform the House that a Royal Australian Air Force Orion has been diverted to attempt to locate the objects. This Orion is expected to arrive in the area at about this time. Three more aircraft will follow this Orion, they are tasked for more intensive follow-up search. I should tell the House - and we must keep this in mind - the task of locating these objects will be extremely difficult and it may turn out that they are not related to the search for flight MH370. Nevertheless, I did want to update the House on this potentially important development."
Australian Maritime Safety Authority News Conference highlight:
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott statement via news.com.au.