Perth: Three separate but fleeting sounds from deep in the Indian Ocean offered new hope Sunday in the hunt for the missing Malaysian airliner, as officials rushed to determine whether they were signals from the plane's black boxes before their beacons fall silent.
The head of the multinational search being conducted off Australia's west coast confirmed that a Chinese ship had picked up electronic pulsing signals twice in a small patch of the search zone, once on Friday and again on Saturday.
On Sunday, an Australian ship carrying sophisticated deep-sea sound equipment picked up a third signal in a different part of the massive search area.
“This is an important and encouraging lead, but one which I urge you to treat carefully,” retired Australian Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston, who is coordinating the search, told reporters in Perth.
He stressed that the signals had not been verified as being linked to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which was traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it disappeared March 8 with 239 people on board.