A Chinese military aircraft searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner spotted several "suspicious" floating objects on Monday in remote seas off Australia, increasing the likelihood that the wreckage of the plane may soon be found.
The latest sighting followed reports by an Australian crew over the weekend of a floating wooden pallet and strapping belts in an area of the icy southern Indian Ocean that was identified after satellites recorded images of potential debris.
Flight MH370 vanished from civilian radar screens less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing with 239 people on board on March 8. No confirmed sighting of the plane has been made since and there is no clue what went wrong.
Attention and resources in the search for the Boeing 777 have shifted from an initial focus north of the equator to an increasingly narrowed stretch of rough sea in the southern Indian Ocean, thousands of miles from the plane's original flight path.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said it had been advised of the Chinese sighting and will use other aircraft scheduled to search the area on Monday to relocate the objects.
The Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft spotted two "relatively big" floating objects and several smaller white ones dispersed over several kilometers, the Xinhua news agency said.
China has diverted its icebreaker Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, toward the location where the debris was spotted, Xinhua said. A flotilla of other Chinese ships are also steadily making their way south. Over 150 of the passengers on board the missing plane were Chinese.
(Read more: Hope of breakthrough in missing jet search)