Objects captured in MH370 zone of interest


French authorities captured satellite images of likely man-made objects floating in part of the southern Indian Ocean deemed most likely to hold MH370 wreckage, two weeks after the passenger jet went missing.

The four images contain at least 70 identifiable objects and were taken from a 25,000 square kilometre area that the Australian Transport Safety Bureau believes may hold the jet, but has not been searched as it is to the north of the official 120,000 sq km search zone.

The images were received by Australian authorities in March this year - three years after they were taken.

Geoscience Australia has assessed 12 of the objects to be "probably man made" but cannot determine whether they are aircraft debris.

"Clearly we must be cautious. These objects have not been definitely identified as MH370 debris," ATSB chief commissioner Greg Hood said on Wednesday.

Mr Hood told reporters in Perth in January after the Malaysian, Australian and Chinese governments suspended the underwater search it was "highly likely" the Boeing 777 was within the 25,000 sq km zone and the ATSB would have liked to have continued the hunt.

But Malaysian transport minister Dato Sri Liow Tiong said the newly defined area was not enough to go on and it was hoped debris drift modelling would help narrow the plane's location.

The ATSB is preparing a final report on the MH370 search, which is expected to be released by the end of next month.

Voice370, a support group for MH370 passengers' next-of-kin, is dismayed the search remains suspended. They had previously planned a private search but are now pinning their hopes on US seabed exploration firm Ocean Infinity.

The company has offered to resume the search for free and has asked to be rewarded only if the aircraft is found, according to Grace Nathan, a Malaysian lawyer whose mother Anne Daisy was on the plane.

Several pieces of wreckage that washed up on Africa's east coast and were confirmed by authorities as either definitely or almost certainly part of MH370 were found by private citizens, including American lawyer and self-funded amateur investigator Blaine Gibson.

The Boeing 777 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014 with 239 people aboard, and continued to fly for more than six hours after contact was lost.