Ship Searching for Malaysia Jet Detects Black Box "Ping"


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A new development in the search for the missing Malaysian Flight 370 has the search teams excited, and might just give the rest of the world answers in the very near future.

A Chinese ship has detected signals from a location in the South Indian Ocean, according to reports.

This ship was carrying a black box detector, which is lowered into the ocean in an effort to get closer to a possible "ping" in the area northwest of Perth, designated as the most likely area that the plane went into the ocean, the state news agency Xinhua reported.

The signal had a frequency of 37.5kHz per second - the standard for black box flight recorders and one that is chosen because it stands out from other noise. A black box is designed to emit one pulse every second for approximately 30 days.

A reporter with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, who was onboard the ship Haixun, China's largest search vessel, said the patrol ship first picked up the signal on Friday when it was detected intermittently for about 15 minutes. Sources are skeptical, however, as other vessels were in the vicinity at the time and could have been the source of the pings.

But Haixun picked up the signal again on Saturday, detecting pings every second for a full 90 seconds.

There has been concern that the black box was nearing its battery life, which sent dozens of ships, planes and submarines to the search on Saturday, the 28th day since it disappeared.

Also included in this massive search were 10 military planes, three civilian jets and 11 ships sent to the southern Indian Ocean for the Boeing 777, which disappeared on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew onboard.

Military and civilian planes, ships with deep-sea searching equipment and a British nuclear submarine are scouring a remote patch of the southern Indian Ocean off Australia's west coast, in the increasingly urgent hunt for debris and the "black box" recorders that hold vital information about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370's last hours.

Australian Defense Minister David Johnston urged caution, saying he had not received a report on the signal and warned that it may not be from the plane.

"This is not the first time we have had something that has turned out to be very disappointing," he told ABC television.

"I'm just going to wait for (JACC chief) Angus (Houston) and the team and my team to come forward with something that's positive because this is a very very difficult task."

Relatives of the 153 Chinese passengers of Flight MH370 were still digesting the news on Saturday.

Mr. Chen, 63, said he had become "lost and disappointed" with the so far "fruitless" search. Saturday night's reports at least felt like progress had been made.

"We still want to know what happened. I hope the search and rescue ships, especially those from China, can carry on with their work, finding the debris of the plane as well as the passengers' belongings [so we have] something to remind us of ours loved-ones."

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