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Missing plane: Chinese satellites spot 3 oil slicks

March 11, 2014 20:25 IST

Chinese high-resolution satellites have found three oil slicks which scientists believe might be linked to the missing Malaysian plane, providing a new direction to the multinational search operations which have failed to spot the wreckage.

The Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that its findings are based on comparison of remote-sensing satellite images of the oil patterns on the ocean surface in the targeted area before and after the plane went missing.

It is not clear whether the oil slicks are the same as those found earlier by search and rescue forces, the institute said.

The institute is cooperating with various departments, including the National Marine Environmental Forecasting Centre, to determine the hypothetical location of oil from the plane by analysing factors such as the speed of local currents and timeline for the missing plane in order to confirm whether the oil slicks are related to the plane, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

China on Monday pressed ten high-resolution satellites to look for the missing plane.

Malaysian authorities who tested the sample of an earlier oil slick near Vietnam said it did not belong to the aircraft.

Meanwhile, a Malaysian airline spokesman here said there is still no trace of the aircraft 88 hours after its disappearance.

Rescue efforts are ongoing, covering eastern and western parts of peninsular Malaysia, but there is "no finding of the aircraft," an airline spokesman told the media on Tuesday.

A total of 42 vessels and 35 aircraft from various countries have joined the rescue mission.

China, which is under pressure as majority of the passengers are its citizens, has stepped up its efforts by sending nine ships and besides number of aircraft for the search operations, Foreign Ministry spokesman, Qin Gang told the media.

It also sent a joint working team to Kuala Lumpur to coordinate the search operations with the Malaysian officials.

Image used for representation purpose only

K J M Varma in Beijing
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