Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott said today he was “very confident” ping signals being detected in the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are from the missing plane’s black box.
“We have narrowed down the search area and are very confident the signals are from the black box,” Abbott told reporters in Shanghai, where he is leading a trade visit to China. He also said: “We are confident that we know the position of the black box flight recorder to within some kilometres.”
Abbott also said the signals were fading.
Abbott said he would not be releasing further details until after he had briefed Chinese President Xi Jinping personally. It is expected the two leaders will meet this evening.
The Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre, which is leading the search, said today that a pulse signal detected yesterday by a P-3 Orion was not related to the missing plane.
Australian defence vessel Ocean Shield located other signals earlier this week, which enabled coordinators to narrow the search area.
Retired Australian Defence Force chief Angus Houston told a media briefing earlier this week that the signals detected had “consistently pulsed” about every second at 33.331khz.
Australia’s Joint Acoustics Analysis Centre assessed the signals as being “consistent with the specifications of a flight data recorder”.
The development comes more than a month after the plane deviated from its flight path en route to Beijing from Malaysia with 239 people on board. Authorities believe it crashed somewhere in the Indian Ocean.
Here’s a map of the search area being covered today released by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority:
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