Australian ship detects new signals as plane hunt narrows

PERTH, Australia- Two new signals have been picked up in the search for missing Malaysian flight MH370 raising hopes that wreckage will be found within days, officials said Wednesday.

Australian ship Ocean Shield detected two more signals Tuesday to match a pair of transmissions picked up over the weekend that have been analyzed as consistent with flight data recorder emissions, the head of the search said.

“Ocean Shield has been able to reacquire the signals on two more occasions, late yesterday afternoon and later last night,” Angus Houston, head of the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, said.

The Australian ship has now picked up four transmissions, crucial information as searchers try to pinpoint the crash zone for the Boeing 777 that disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board.

Officials had feared that the signals which were initially picked up may not be detected again, particularly as the batteries on the black box recorders have a life span of about 30 days.

The new transmissions, found in the same broad areas as the previous two, lasted for five minutes and 32 seconds and about seven minutes respectively, Houston said.

“Yesterday’s signals will assist in better defining a reduced and much more manageable search area on the ocean floor,” Houston said.

“I believe we are searching in the right area but we need to visually identify the aircraft before we can confirm with certainty that this is the final resting place of MH370.”

Houston again urged caution for the sake of the families of the 239 people onboard the mysterious flight which went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and said the search for more transmissions would go on.

“Hopefully with lots of transmissions we’ll have a tight, small area and hopefully in a matter of days we’ll be able to find something on the bottom that might confirm that this is the last resting place of MH370,” Houston told reporters.