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KUALA LUMPUR: The missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 international search and recovery team has discovered 58 hard objects in the Indian Ocean floor, which are inconsistent with the seabed.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) is currently in the midst of retrieving the objects to be analysed for identification.

“We have found 58 hard objects in the ocean floor, but have yet to identify if they are from flight MH370.

“Now, we have to deploy our assets to the sea floor to verify whether the objects are from MH370’s wreckage, any other ship’s wreckage or hard rocks before coming to any conclusion,” he said.

Speaking at a press conference after opening the MCA Selangor State Convention here yesterday, Liow said the search for the missing flight was in a crucial phase.

The crucial phase involved deep sea search and mapping of 60,000 square kilometres of the southern Indian Ocean floor.

He said Petronas’ Go Phoenix vessel will be joining the search mission in the Indian Ocean from Sept 21 onwards.

“Go Phoenix is currently en route to Perth, Australia, and the ship will join Fugro Survey Pty Ltd’s Fugro Discovery, which is a vessel equipped with towed deep-water vehicles in the seabed mapping.

“It is expected to reach Perth on Sept 21 and both vessels will be deployed to the search area in near time,” he said, adding that Go Phoenix is usually used in oil exploration.

The vessels are expected to scan the sea floor using sophisticated side scan sonar, multi-beam echo sounders and video cameras, with the hope of locating and identifying aircraft debris, he added.

Flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200 aircraft disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board.

Its flight path was said to have ended somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean.

Meanwhile, police denied Indonesian media reports in Indonesia that they (police) were aware of the disappearance of MH370.

Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar told Bernama that he was shocked by such media reports since Malaysian police did not have any information about the missing flight.

“I would like to know which media and when such a report was published. I will ask my counterpart in Kapolri (Police Chief of Indonesia Jeneral Sutarman) whether he had said anything about the issue.

“I was not informed of any such report,” he said.

Yesterday, an Indonesian online portal (Tempo.co) quoted Sutarman as saying that Kapolri and the Malaysian police knew the reason for the disappearance of MH370 but would not elaborate further.

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