It was not immediately clear whether the objects were related to the 3-week-old investigation, and the second day of searching in the newly targeted area closer to Australia ended with no evidence found of the jet, officials said.
Crews searching for signs of the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner scooped up several objects floating in the Indian Ocean Saturday — including two items bearing colors of the missing Boeing 777.
Officials cautioned the debris found in a search area about the size of Poland did not represent concrete evidence of the plane that went missing on March 8.
Searchers on ships from China and Australia plucked the items described only as “objects from the ocean,” but none was “confirmed to be related” to Flight 370, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, the agency overseeing the search.
Spotters aboard a Chinese military plane spotted three floating objects, China’s official Xinhua News Agency said. They were reportedly white, red and orange — similar to the missing plane’s exterior of red, white, blue and gray.
The agony of each possible break in the case tortured relatives and friends of the 227 passengers aboard the doomed flight.
“This is the trauma of maybe he’s dead, maybe he’s not. Maybe he’s still alive and we need to find him. Maybe he died within the first hour of the flight, and we don’t know,” Sarah Bajc, the American girlfriend of Texas passenger Philip Wood, said in Beijing. “I mean, there’s absolutely no way for me to reconcile that in my heart.”
The crew of an Australian search plane also saw objects in a different part of the search area, but the maritime safety authority did not describe those objects in detail.
On Friday planes and ships combing the newly targeted area closer to Australia saw several other objects, which also weren’t confirmed to be debris from the airliner.
An image captured by a New Zealand plane showed a white rectangular object floating in the sea, but it was not clear whether it was related to the missing jet or just trash.
Since its disappearance, speculation has run wild about what caused the plane departing from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing to vanish. Theories have ranged from a catastrophic event in the cockpit to terrorism, a botched hijacking or pilot suicide.
Newly analyzed satellite data shifted the search zone Friday, raising expectations searchers may be closing in on physical evidence the plane crashed in the Indian Ocean.
If debris is discovered, it would help focus the hunt for the aircraft’s black boxes, which contain key clues about how and why the plane veered drastically off-course.
The U.S. Navy has already sent equipment that can detect pings from the black boxes, and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that the equipment would be put on an Australian naval ship when searchers have a solid lead.
“It will be taken to the most prospective search area and if there is good reason to deploy it, it will be deployed,” he said.