UPDATE: China Ship Hears 'Signal'; Unclear if Jet-Related

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

PERTH, Australia (AP) -- Officials are trying to confirm whether an electronic "pulse signal" reportedly picked up by a Chinese ship in the Indian Ocean came from the missing Malaysian jetliner.

The Australian agency coordinating the search for the missing plane says the "pings" reportedly detected by the Chinese ship are consistent with those of an aircraft black box.

But the agency's head, retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, says they "cannot verify any connection" at this stage between the signals and Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Houston says his Joint Agency Coordination Centre has asked China for "any further information that may be relevant." He says the Australian air force is considering deploying more aircraft to the area where the ship reportedly detected the sounds.

The agency says up to 12 military and civilian planes and 13 ships will take part in Sunday's search, which will focus on three areas totaling 83,400 square miles. The areas are about 1,200 miles northwest of the Australian city of Perth.

It's not yet clear if the reported pulse signal helped to determine the areas to be searched on Sunday.
PERTH, Australia (AP) -- The Australian-led joint agency coordinating the search for the missing Malaysian jetliner says electronic pulse signals reportedly detected by a Chinese ship in the southern Indian Ocean are consistent with those of an aircraft's "black box."

However, Australian Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston says the agency cannot verify any connection between the signals reported by China and Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

China's Xinhua (shihn-wah) News Agency reported today that a black box detector deployed by a Chinese ship picked up a signal at 37.5 kilohertz, the same frequency emitted by flight data recorders.
Xinhua also said a Chinese search plane spotted numerous white floating objects some 50 miles away.

Houston says the joint agency also has no confirmation the floating objects are related to the missing aircraft.

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