The search for wreckage from Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 in the south Indian Ocean could take quite a while, investigators say, because even if the debris spotted by a satellite earlier this week does belong to the aircraft, it may have sunk or moved quite a ways from its original coordinates.
Planes and ships from China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia are being sent to the area to search, but bad weather is making it slow going, and the debris was found two days ago. Many are surprised that the aircraft could have made it that far, but according to authorities, the plane flew for several hours after it broke contact with ground control and went off course.
The debris has brought hope to the families and friends of those on board the flight, as even if there are no survivors found, at least a confirmed crash would bring closure.
“I’m desperate to hear it is an airplane wing and there are survivors clinging to it, and one of them is Philip,” said Sarah Bajc, whose boyfriend Philip Wood was on the plane. “I’m apprehensive it will be unrelated and the wait will just continue after many more hours of misery. I am prepared for dead bodies, but I am not prepared for never knowing.”
Still, even if the pieces are found soon, it will take a while to confirm their origin.
"We have to locate it, confirm that it belongs to the aircraft, recover it and then bring it a long way back to Australia, so that could take some time," said John Young, general manager of emergency response for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
Image via Wikimedia Commons