NEW DATA: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 crashed into Indian Ocean - KMSP-TV

NEW DATA: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 crashed into Indian Ocean

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The search for the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 entered its 16th day Monday, hours after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said a new analysis of satellite data indicated that the flight went down in the southern Indian Ocean.

POSSIBLE JET DEBRIS SPOTTED

Earlier Monday, Australian and Chinese search planes spotted more objects in the southern Indian Ocean that were identified as possible debris from the missing jet, which was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members and was due to fly from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing on the morning of March 8.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the crew of an Australian P3 Orion plane had located two objects in the search zone -- the first gray or green and circular, the second orange and rectangular. The crew was able to photograph the objects, but it was unclear if they were part of an aircraft.

"They could be flotsam," Abbott said in Canberra. "Nevertheless, we are hopeful that we can recover these objects soon and that they will take us a step closer to resolving this tragic mystery."

An Australian Navy supply ship, the HMAS Success, was on the scene Monday trying to locate and recover the objects. Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the vessel could reach them by Monday night or Tuesday morning.

Separately, the crew aboard one of two Chinese IL-76 aircraft combing the search zone observed two large objects and several smaller ones spread across several square miles, Xinhua News Agency reported. At least one of the items -- a white, square object -- was captured on a camera aboard the plane, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.

China has redirected the icebreaker Snow Dragon toward their latest find, and that ship was due to arrive in the area early Tuesday. Six other Chinese ships have been directed toward the search zone, along with 20 fishing vessels, Lei said.

Australia said a U.S. Navy plane searching the area Monday wasn't able to locate the objects, according to Reuters.

NO CONFIRMED SIGHTINGS

Despite the reported sightings of objects, there still has not been one confirmed sighting of debris from the missing plane.

The U.S. Pacific command said Monday that it was sending a black box locator in case a debris field is located. The Towed Pinger Locator, which is pulled behind a vessel at slow speeds, has highly sensitive listening capability so that if a crash site is located, it can hear the black box pinger down to a depth of about 20,000 feet, according to Cmdr. Chris Budde, a U.S. 7th Fleet operations officer.

"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," Budde said.

There was no sign the move was made because of any break in the mystery, but rather was done as a preparation.

SEARCH AREA EXPANDED

Australian Maritime Safety Authority's (AMSA) rescue coordination center said the search area was expanded from 22,800 to 26,400 square miles and that two Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 planes had joined the search from Perth, increasing the number of aircraft to 10 from eight a day earlier.

It said the weather in the search area, about 1,550 miles southwest of Perth, was expected to deteriorate with rain. On Tuesday, a cold front was expected to move through the search area from the west, bringing showers, more low clouds and less visibility. Tropical Cyclone Gillian, which is further to the north, will not impact the area.

'WITH DEEP SADNESS AND REGRET...'

The southern Indian Ocean is thought to be a potential area to find the jet because Malaysian authorities have said pings sent by the Boeing 777-200 for several hours after it disappeared indicated that the plane ended up in one of two huge arcs: a northern corridor stretching from Malaysia to Central Asia, or a southern corridor that stretches toward Antarctica.

"This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites," Razak said at a press conference. "It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, that flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean."

Malaysian authorities have not ruled out any possible explanation for what happened to the jet, but have said the evidence so far suggests it was deliberately turned back across Malaysia to the Strait of Malacca, with its communications systems disabled. They are unsure what happened next.

HIJACKING, SABOTAGE CONSIDERED

Authorities are considering the possibilities of hijacking, sabotage, terrorism or issues related to the mental health of the pilots.

Malaysia's police chief, Inspector General Khalid Abu Bakar, reiterated at a news conference Monday that all the passengers had been cleared of suspicion.

But he said the pilots and crew were still being investigated. He would not comment on whether investigators had recovered the files that were deleted a month earlier from the home flight simulator of the chief pilot.

Malaysia Airlines chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid had just transitioned to flying Boeing 777s from other commercial planes and the missing flight was his sixth on that type of aircraft.

"The first five flights, the co-pilot normally flies with what we call the check co-pilot. He actually passed the first five flights. We do not see any problem with him," Yahya said, according to the AFP.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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