Metal debris on Thai beach likely from rocket, not missing airliner

TOKYO -- A Japanese rocket maker said Monday that a large piece of metal that washed up on a beach in Thailand is likely part of a rocket launched by Japan, not a missing Malaysian plane.

See Full Article

The discovery of the metal sparked speculation that it might be from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared almost two years ago.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said the metal piece is "highly likely" to be part of a Japanese H-IIA or H-IIB rocket that was launched from southern Japan, based on an initial examination of photos and videos of the object.

Company spokeswoman Sayo Suwashita said officials are trying to determine which rocket and its launch date. Rocket debris falls into the ocean after every launch, and most is collected but sometimes pieces can be found some distance from the launch site, including in foreign waters, she said.

Thai air force and civil aviation authorities said Monday they were unaware of the statement from Japan, while the agency within the Transport Ministry that investigates aviation accidents was unavailable for comment.

Japan has launched H-IIA and H-IIB rockets since the 2000s. The most recent H-IIA launch was in November 2015.

Flight 370 took off from Malaysia in March 2014. It lost communications and made a sharp turn away from its Beijing destination before disappearing. It is presumed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, far away from Thailand.

The debris was found on the eastern coast of southern Thailand's Nakhon Si Thammarat province, about 370 miles (600 kilometres) south of Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand.

Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said Sunday that the search for the missing jet, which carried 239 people, is ongoing in the Indian Ocean and that its second phase is expected to be completed by June. Australia has led a multinational search that has so far cost more than $120 million.

Aviation experts from Malaysia visited Nakhon Si Thammarat on Monday to inspect the metal piece, after which the Thai air force flew it to Bangkok for further examination.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau announced Monday that the search of 120 square kilometres (46,000 square miles) of seabed where the Boeing 777 is thought to have crashed had been set back after a ship lost its sonar equipment.

The Fugro Discovery, one of three ships conducting the search, towed its side-scan sonar unit on Sunday into a mud volcano that rose 2,200 metres (7,200 feet) from the sea floor, the bureau said in a statement.

The ship lost the sonar unit plus 4.5 kilometres (14,800 feet) of cable. The ship is now making a six-day journey to the Australian port of Fremantle to collect new cable and will continue the search with spare sonar equipment, it said.

Associated Press writers Grant Peck in Bangkok, Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia, contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Ex-Mountie who smuggled narwhal tusks to be sentenced

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BANGOR, Maine - A retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer accused of smuggling narwhal tusks across the border is due to be sentenced for money laundering. Prosecutors say Gregory Logan, of Saint John, New Brunswick, smuggled 250 tusks valued at $1.5 million to $3 million into Maine in false compartments in his vehicle. Source
  • U.S. storm chasers fly above Maria to drop sensors into eye of hurricane

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Puerto Rico’s public safety minister issued a blunt warning to residents on Tuesday as Category 5 Hurricane Maria plows towards the region, saying there are two options -- evacuate or die. While thousands are scrambling to avoid the powerful storm, a team of U.S. Source
  • Cloudy, cool August restrains melt of Arctic sea ice

    Tech & Science CTV News
    In this July 21, 2017, file photo, broken sea ice emerges from under the hull of the Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica as it sails through the Victoria Strait while traversing the Arctic's Northwest Passage. (AP Photo / David Goldman, File) Source
  • Self-driving Uber fleet returns to service following crash

    Tech & Science CTV News
    PITTSBURGH - Uber has resumed self-driving vehicle service in Pittsburgh following a crash. The company briefly suspended their self-driving fleet Monday morning. Police say a car collided with a self-driving Uber SUV. Two Uber employees who were in the SUV at the time of the crash and the driver of the car were not injured. Source
  • Robot judges? Edmonton research crafting artificial intelligence for courts

    Tech & Science CBC News
    If Edmonton researcher Randy Goebel has his way, artificially intelligent judges and attorneys will become players in the courtrooms of the future. A professor in computing science at the University of Alberta, Goebel has partnered with scientists in Japan to develop artificial intelligence programs designed for the legal world. Source
  • Scientists say no doubt about impact of neonicotinoids on birds, bees

    Tech & Science CBC News
    A group of international scientists meets today to try to convince parliamentarians there is no longer any doubt that common agricultural pesticides are toxic chemicals which are killing off honey bees. In fact, says Jean-Marc Bonmatin of the French National Centre for Scientific Research, neonicotinoid pesticides kill a lot more than just bees, posing a deadly risk to frogs, common birds, fish and earthworms. Source
  • Review: Glitzy iPhone X aside, the iPhone 8 is fine for most

    Tech & Science CTV News
    WARSAW, Poland -- The difference between Apple's new iPhone models is a bit like flying first class compared with coach. We envy first class, but coach gets us there without breaking the budget. The iPhone 8 will do just fine for US$300 less than the glitzy iPhone X , even though it won't make your friends and colleagues jealous. Source
  • iPhones emerging as tool of choice for online sexual predators

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Mobile devices are the latest front in the techno-war between cops and internet predators, according to police officers who work in Canadian child exploitation units. "Mobile phones represent everything a person would want in a device," said Det. Source
  • Hate asking for directions? No need with these smart beacons for the blind

    Tech & Science CBC News
    If you were blind and walked into a coffee shop, how would you find the counter so you could order? That's easy for Susan Vaile at 9 Bars Coffee in Toronto — she just needs to listen to her smartphone: "Walk forward six metres to carpet. Source
  • Astronomers discover pitch-black planet orbiting distant star

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have discovered a planet orbiting a star 1,400 light-years away that reflects almost no light. The planet, WASP-12b, is orbiting a star similar to our own sun. In measuring the planet's albedo, or reflectivity, astronomers found the value to be just 0.064, or about as reflective as fresh asphalt, something that surprised the researchers. Source