New reports offer clues to MH370 location

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A new report has drastically reduced the search zone for missing flight MH370.

But the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which has led the search, warned that the drift analysis collected by science agency CSIRO is most likely made up of "man-made" floating objects.

"Clearly we must be cautious".

Meanwhile the CSIRO's reverse drift modelling has narrowed down any potential new search area to be just 5,000 sq km, down from 25,000 sq km past year.

However, Transport Minister Darren Chester indicated there was no plan to reopen the search for the missing jet, which was suspended in January after failing to find the plane in the 120,000 square kilometre area originally favoured by experts.

The images were received by Australian authorities in March this year - three years after they were taken.

"Geoscience Australia identified a number of objects in the satellite imagery which have been classified as probably man-made", Mr Hood confirmed, but would not speculate on whether they belonged to MH370.

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The photos were taken by the French military over the Indian Ocean on 23rd March 2014, just over two weeks after the plane vanished. "These objects have not been definitely identified as MH370 debris".

"The image resolution is not high enough to be certain whether the objects originated from MH370 or are other objects that might be found floating in oceans around the world".

Few traces of the Boeing 777 airliner have turned up over more than three years of searching since it disappeared soon after take-off from Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, bound for Beijing.

In April, the CSIRO published modelling on the drift of a Boeing 777 flaperon that was consistent with the one from MH370 that was found washed up on La Réunion.

The most likely resting place of the MH370 has since narrowed down to 5,000 square km and the rediscovered satellite images have now come into play.

"The Governments of Australia, Malaysia and People's Republic of China during the Ministerial Tripartite meeting in July 2016 have agreed that consideration will be given in determining next steps should credible new information emerge which can be used to identify the location of the aircraft".

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