MH370: detection of signal 'an important lead'

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Published on 6 Apr 2014, 11:27
Naval vessels carrying sophisticated deep-sea black box detectors were rushing to the site of an "important and encouraging" lead in the hunt for the missing airliner, the head of the multinational search said today.
But retired Australian Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston stressed the two electronic pulses that a Chinese ship reported detecting on Friday and Saturday had not been verified as connected to the missing jet.
China's official Xinhua News Agency reported late on Saturday that the patrol vessel Haixun 01 had detected a "pulse signal" at 37.5 kilohertz (cycles per second) - the same frequency emitted by flight data recorders aboard the missing plane - in the search area in the southern Indian Ocean.
Houston confirmed the report, and said Haixun 01 had detected a signal again on Saturday within 2 kilometres (1.4 miles) of the original signal, for a period of 90 seconds.
He said that China also reported seeing white objects floating in the sea in the area.
"This is an important and encouraging lead, but one which I urge you to continue to treat carefully," Houston told reporters in Perth.
"I (have) made clear, that these signals and the objects could not be verified as connected to the missing aircraft ... that remains the case."
Houston said the British Navy's HMS Echo, which is fitted with sophisticated sound locating equipment, is moving immediately to the area where the Haixun 01 detected the signals.
The Australian Navy's Ocean Shield ship, which is carrying high-tech sound detectors from the US Navy, will also travel to the area.
But Ocean Shield would first investigate a sound it had picked up from the deep ocean in a different region, he said.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished on 8 March while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with 239 people aboard the aircraft, most of them Chinese.
Source: APTN

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