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MH370 search area decreased – signal consistent – more floating objects seen

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The search area for missing MH370 has been decreased, because Australian ship Ocean Shield re-acquired two more suspicious signals in an intensified search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370,

The search area for missing MH370 has been decreased, because Australian ship Ocean Shield re-acquired two more suspicious signals in an intensified search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the Australian coordination chief said Wednesday.

Experts “believe the signals to be consistent with the specification and description of a flight data recorder,” Houston told reporters.

In the meantime multiple floating objects were spotted by patrol aircraft in an area where Australian ship Ocean Shield detected suspicious signals, officials at Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01 said Wednesday.

Haixun 01 is heading to a search zone of about 75,000 square kilometers where the objects were spotted, at about 20 degrees south latitude and 98 degrees east longitude, to assist in the search for the missing Malaysian jet MH370.

Chinese officials aboard Haixun 01 told Xinhua they were informed of the latest sighting of floating objects by Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC) late Tuesday night.

Chinese rescue ship Nanhaijiu 115 and Chinese naval vessel 998 are already working in the search area, they added.

The current focus area of Chinese and Austrlian search efforts was determined by caculating ocean current flows using the locations where suspicious signals were detected by Haixun 01 and Ocean Shield as base points, they said.

“Ocean Shield has been able to reacquire the signals on two more occasions, late yesterday afternoon and later last night,” said Angus Houston, head of Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC), adding the last signal heard was weak.

Houston said the new detections boosted the hope that “we are searching in the right area,” which is approximately 2200 kilometers northwest of Perth.

Ocean Shield, equipped with U.S.-supplied towed pinger locater, heard two suspicious pulse signals on Monday.

Houston said data analysis of the first two signals confirmed that they were consistent with aircraft black boxes and not from a natural origin.

Experts “believe the signals to be consistent with the specification and description of a flight data recorder,” Houston told reporters.

Though the new detections were “great lead,” Houston cautioned that there is still a long way to go and no final conclusion can be made until “somebody sees the wreckage.”

He said the U.S. underwater vehicle will not be sent down to scour the ocean floor until all possibilities of surface search are exhausted.

Up to 11 military aircraft, four civil aircraft and 14 ships joined Wednesday’s hunt for MH370 as the search area has been narrowed to about 75,423 square kilometers.

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editor

Editor in chief for eTurboNew is Linda Hohnholz. She is based in the eTN HQ in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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