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'Signal found' by ship searching for missing Malaysian plane

© Photo: AFP / AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE / ABIS JULIANNE CROPLEY

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-04-05

A “pulse signal” has been detected by a black box detector on a Chinese ship in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, Chinese media said on Saturday.

A report by the official Xinhua news agency said a black box detector deployed by the vessel Haixun 01 picked up a signal at 37.5Hz per second on Saturday at around 25 degrees south latitude and 101 degrees east longitude in the southern Indian Ocean.

It has not yet been established if the signal is related to the missing jet, which disappeared with 239 people on board nearly four weeks ago en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

However, the frequency of the detected signal is identical to the beacon signal emitted by flight recorders.

The Australian government agency coordinating the search for Flight MH370 would not immediately comment on the report.

Despite a vast multinational search for the missing Boeing 777, so far no crash site has been found, though calculations based on satellite data have led to the search being narrowed to a 217,000-square-kilometre stretch of water about 1,700km off the coast of western Australia.

Search teams are facing a race against time to locate the plane's black box, which could reveal what happened to the ill-fated flight.

Beacons in black boxes emit “pings” so they can be more easily found but the batteries last for only about a month.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP)

Date created : 2014-04-05

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