China ship hears 'signal'; unclear if jet-related

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Associated Press

Posted on April 5, 2014 at 9:03 PM

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.

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