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Bad weather cuts short hunt for jet

AIRCRAFT and ships searching for debris suspected of being from the missing Malaysian airliner have failed to find any before bad weather cut their hunt short.

The delay came as Thailand said one of its satellites had spotted hundreds of objects in the area. The Thai satellite spotted the objects floating in the southern Indian Ocean near an area where planes and ships have been hunting unsuccessfully for a week for any sign of debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared on March 8 with 239 people aboard.

The images from the Thai satellite showed "300 objects of various sizes" in the ocean, about 1675 miles south-west of Perth, said Anond Snidvongs, director of Thailand's space technology development agency.

He said the images, taken on Monday by the Thaichote satellite, took two days to process.

The objects were about 125 miles from the area where a French satellite on Sunday spotted 122 objects and ranged in size from 6ft to 53ft long.

The announcement came after the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said it had to pull back all 11 planes scheduled to take part in the search yesterday because of heavy rain, winds and low clouds. Five ships continued the hunt.

Planes have been flying out of Perth for a week, looking without any success for objects spotted in vague satellite images, including the French one.

Finding them would give physical confirmation that Flight 370, which was scheduled to fly from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, crashed.

That would allow searchers to narrow the hunt for the wreckage of the Boeing 777 and its black boxes, which could solve the mystery of why the jet was so far off course.

Experts said the area's frequent high seas and bad weather and its distance from land were complicating an already difficult search.

Malaysia Airlines ran a full-page condolence advertisement in a major newspaper, saying: "Words alone cannot express our enormous sorrow and pain."

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