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Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has voiced confidence that investigators and searchers are “very close” to locating missing Malaysian airliner MH370 Boeing 777, which disappeared off radar March 8.
Speaking to reporters during an official visit to China on Friday, Abbott said: “We have very much narrowed down the search area, and we are very confident that the signals that we are detecting are from the black box.”
New hope that the investigators were nearing the location where MH370 is thought to have gone missing came last week when Chinese search vessel Haixun 01 said a black box detector deployed on board picked up a signal at 37.5Hz per second around 25 degrees south latitude and 101 degrees east longitude.
The signal was the biggest lead yet for rescuers who have combed thousands of aquatic miles to find the missing plane.
Now, investigators say they have confirmed that Australian vessel Ocean Shield picked up four such by a locator towed in the area.
“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 4½ kilometers beneath the sea or finally determining all that happened on that flight,” Abott said.
On Saturday, some 9 aircraft and 14 naval vessels from an international coalition converged on the region of the pings – an area as large as Los Angeles, media have observed.
“This work continues in an effort to narrow the underwater search area for when the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle is deployed. There have been no confirmed acoustic detections over the past 24 hours,” the Joint Agency Coordination Centre overseeing the search said on Saturday