News / Asia

Australia Confident Sounds Are From Missing Jet

  • A relative of Chinese passengers aboard Flight MH370 takes a nap against the wall displaying messages of wishes for the passengers during a briefing held by Malaysia officials at a hotel in Beijing, April 11, 2014.
  • A woman, the daughter of a Chinese passenger on Flight MH370 shows her mobile phone displaying a photo of her father near the wall displaying messages of wishes for the passengers at a hotel in Beijing, April 11, 2014.
  • A woman ties a message card for passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 at a shopping mall in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 10, 2014.
  • Spectators take photos of a Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft as it comes in for a landing at Perth International Airport after returning from the ongoing search operations for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Perth, Australia, April 10, 2014.
  • A man places a candle on top of a white board set up to place messages for passengers on Flight MH370 during a candlelight vigil in Kuala Lumpur, April 6, 2014.
  • People place candles on a banner reading, "Pray for MH370" after a special prayer for passengers onboard the missing plane at the Malaysian Chinese Association headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, April 6, 2014.
  • A U.S. Navy towed pinger locator is pictured on a dock at HMAS Stirling naval base near Perth.
  • Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01 is pictured during a search for Flight MH370, in the south Indian Ocean, April 5, 2014. (CNS photo)
  • The Bluefin 21, an Artemis autonomous underwater vehicle, is hoisted back on board the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield after a successful buoyancy test in the southern Indian Ocean, April 4, 2014.
  • A flight lieutenant monitors a TAC station onboard a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion during search operations for Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean, April 4, 2014.
VOA News
Australian authorities say they are confident that underwater signals detected in the search for missing the Malaysian jetliner are from the airplane's black box recorders.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters in Shanghai Friday that search crews looking for the plane have narrowed down that patch of Indian Ocean where they are searching for the sounds.  

"We are confident that we know the position of the black box flight recorder to within some kilometers. But confidence in the approximate position of the black box is not the same as recovering wreckage from almost four and a half kilometers beneath the sea or finally determining all that happened on the flight," Abbott said.

Abbott briefed Chinese President Xi Jinping on the status of the search. Some two-thirds of the passengers onboard the flight were Chinese.

Pings consistent with a flight data recorder have been detected by an Australian ship that is using a U.S. naval device to detect black boxes.

Time is running out for authorities to locate the origin of the signals, since the batteries on the black box's locator beacon are set to run out after about 30 days.

The Malaysia Airlines jet, which was carrying 239 people, disappeared on March 8 while traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Malaysian authorities believe the plane was deliberately diverted and crashed into the sea. But without wreckage, many are skeptical.

If authorities can locate more pings, they plan to deploy a robot submarine to search the ocean floor.

Once the black box is retrieved, authorities will be able to determine what happened to the plane.  Its fate has become one of the most puzzling mysteries in aviation history.

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