MH370 mystery: PM says satellite images could be missing plane

The Australian-led search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight has had an apparent breakthrough, with satellite images showing two objects in waters off Perth.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Parliament on Thursday afternoon that an Australian P-3 Orion aircraft had been diverted to check out the objects and would be followed by other planes.

The first Orion was due to arrive on the scene about 2pm, he said.

Mr Abbott stressed it was not yet clear whether they were parts of the plane.

But Mr Abbott described the breakthrough as "new and credible information."

"The Australian maritime safety authority has received information based on satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search," Mr Abbott said.

"Following specialist analysis of this satellite imagery, two possible objects related to the search have been identified."

"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," Mr Abbott said.

"Nevertheless, I did want to update the House on this potentially important development.’’

Mr Abbott said he had informed his Malaysian counterpart, Prime Minister Najib Razak, and promised to keep him updated.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is co-ordinating the search, has called a news conference for 3.30pm.

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