Beach debris not from missing Malaysian Airlines plane

The debris found on a beach in Western Australia is not connected to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Australian Transport Safety Bureau spokesman Martin Dolan told ABC radio on Thursday he was satisfied it was not from the plane.

The item was found washed up on a beach 10 kilometres east of Augusta, near Margaret River, on the south-west coast of Western Australia.

"We've carefully examined detailed photographs that were taken for us by the police and we're satisfied that it's not a lead in the search for MH370," Mr Dolan said.

"From our point of view, we're ruling it out. We'll get some further details just to be sure but at this stage we're not seeing anything in this that would lead us to believe that it comes from a Boeing aircraft."

On Wednesday, Mr Dolan told CNN: "It's sufficiently interesting for us to take a look at the photographs.

"The more we look at it, the less excited we get."

He said the debris appeared to be sheet metal with rivets.

The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), which is overseeing the search for the plane that disappeared on March 8, said on Wednesday that Western Australian police had taken possession of the debris.

It was reported that the person who found the object initially kept it for a day or two before taking it to the Busselton Regional Airport for inspection.

The object was taken to Busselton Police Station on Wednesday.

Senior Sergeant Steve Principe at Busselton Police Station told The Busselton-Dunsborough Mail the object was about 2.4 metres high, half a metre wide and was of an alloy type of metal.

The object did not have any identifiable writing on it, Senior Sergeant Principe told the news outlet.

"The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is examining the photographs of the material to determine whether further physical analysis is required and if there is any relevance to the search of missing flight MH370," the JACC said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The ATSB has also provided the photographs to the Malaysian investigation team."

Malaysian authorities said on Wednesday that a report on the items found near Augusta had been received, but there had been no verification of whether they were part of the missing flight.

Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said insights from Jean Paul Troadec, a key expert in the two-year search for wreckage from the 2009 Air France crash, and experience from the 1997 Silk Air crash, would be considered in determining the approach to the next phase of the search.

''When we have to regroup and restrategise, it's a matter of looking at all the data, whether it is satellite, whether it is radar, and that is very important as we chart our next course,'' he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

''Those are the sort of things we will be looking at in identifying the possibility of other locations, but that will be part and parcel of the whole work in progress.''

On Wednesday, the search from the air was suspended due to heavy seas and poor visibility.

Three search planes that had already departed had to be recalled. But the 12 ships involved in the operation continued the search, which was centred around an area almost 1600 kilometres north-west of Perth.


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