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Plane Search Has ‘Best Lead So Far’

An Australian vessel searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane has detected signals consistent with those from aircraft black boxes.Australian defence vessel Ocean Shield acquired the signal twice, once for more than two hours, Australia said.

Plane search has 'best lead so far'

Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who is leading the search, called it the “most promising lead” so far.

But he said more information was needed: “We haven’t found the aircraft yet and we need further confirmation.”

The plane, carrying 239 people, was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on 8 March when it disappeared. Malaysian officials say they believe it crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

ACM Houston said that the signals were detected using the towed pinger locator deployed on the Ocean Shield.

Two separate detections occurred, he said. The first was held for two hours and 20 minutes before being lost.

The ship then turned around and on the return leg detected the signal again for 13 minutes.

The Ocean Shield was still in the area but had not been able to reacquire the signals since, he said.

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