An Australian navy ship has picked up new signals “consistent” with those emitted from aircraft black boxes, a senior official said today, adding that the detection is the “most promising lead so far” in the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.
“The towed pinger locator deployed from the Australian defense vessel Ocean Shield has detected signals consistent with those emitted from aircraft black boxes,” said Angus Houston, the former Australian defense chief who’s leading the search.
On Saturday evening, Xinhua reported that Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01 likewise heard signals in the southern Indian Ocean “identical” to the standard beacon frequency of aircraft black boxes.
Search crews have been racing against the clock to hunt for the black boxes containing flight data and cock pit voice recorders, as their batteries are expected to die within days.
“The pinger locator has detected signals consistent with those emitted by aircraft black boxes,” said Houston of the most recent detection which was held for about two hours and 20 minutes.
“We are encouraged that we are very close to where we need to be,” he said. “The lead we’ve got at the moment is worth following through to the fullest extent.”
Ships and planes have been deployed to verify whether the signals belong to MH370’s black boxes.
[Image via ECNS.cn]