Authorities Hopeful About Survivors From Missing Malaysian Airlines Plane
According to Fox News;
The Malaysian defense minister said Monday that searchers have not ruled out the possibility of survivors among the 239 people missing after a Malaysia Airlines jet mysteriously vanished after taking off from Kuala Lumpur 30 days ago.
There is new hope of finding the plane after Angus Houston, a retired Australian Air Force Chief Marshal coordinating the search mission, said a ship had detected separate pulse signals that were “consistent with transmissions from both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder,” or so-called black boxes.
A multinational operation to find the Boeing 777 after its baffling disappearance continues in the southern Indian Ocean, but after weeks of false leads and millions of dollars in equipment and personnel, the families of those on board the plane may have a reason to believe their loved ones could be alive.
“I have always said to the families: ‘miracles do happen,’” Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters at a briefing in Kuala Lampur Monday. “We continue to hope and pray for survivors,” he added, according to a report in the UK newspaper, The Telegraph.
The new pulse signals suggest search teams are now “very close” to pinpointing the black box’s location. But Hishammuddin cautioned that there are still “many steps to be taken” to check if the signals are linked to Flight MH370.
Malaysian officials said Monday they were “cautiously hopeful” for decisive developments in the search for the plane, hours after the Australian search coordinator Houston reported the new lead on the black boxes in an area of the Indian Ocean nearly 3 miles deep, hundreds of miles off the western coast of Australia.
Houston told reporters in Perth, Australia, Monday that the latest detection of signals was “very encouraging” and “the best information we have.
“We’ve got a visual indication on a screen and we’ve also got an audible signal,” Houston said, “and the audible signal sounds to me just like an emergency locator beacon.”
However, he also stressed that the new findings did not constitute discovery of the plane, which disappeared early on the morning of March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
“We have not found the plane,” said Houston, who added that it may take days to confirm whether signals picked up by the Australian ship Ocean Shield are indeed from the flight recorders. Houston said the position of the noise needs to be further refined and an underwater autonomous vehicle can be sent in to investigate.
“In very deep oceanic water,” Houston said, “nothing happens fast.”